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Shane Watson in the Race for Pakistan’s Head Coach Position

The Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) is looking for a new head coach for the national men’s cricket team, and former Australian all-rounder Shane Watson is one of the frontrunners for the position, according to reliable sources.

Watson, who won two World Cups with Australia and played 307 international matches, is currently the head coach of Quetta Gladiators in the Pakistan Super League (PSL) season nine. He has impressed the PCB with his coaching skills and his rapport with the Pakistani players.

The PCB is keen to appoint a foreign coach who can bring in fresh ideas and improve the team’s performance in all formats, especially in the shortest format. Pakistan is set to host New Zealand for a five-match T20I series in April, followed by a busy schedule that includes the T20 World Cup in West Indies and USA, and tours to England, Australia, Zimbabwe, and South Africa.

The PCB is expected to make a decision on the head coach soon, as the current coaching staff’s contracts will expire after the PSL. The PCB had transferred Mickey Arthur, Grant Bradburn, and Andrew Puttick to the National Cricket Academy (NCA) in Lahore in November 2023, but they left their roles in January this year.

Arthur, who had coached Pakistan from 2016 to 2023, was appointed as the Director of the Pakistan men’s cricket team in April 2023, while Bradburn became the head coach of the national side in the same month. Puttick, a former South African batsman, joined as the batting coach in April 2023.

The PCB said that the decision to part ways with the coaches was mutual and amicable, and thanked them for their services.

Apart from Watson, two other PSL coaches are also in the running for the Pakistan head coach role. Mike Hesson, the former New Zealand and India coach, who is currently in charge of Islamabad United, and Daren Sammy, the two-time T20 World Cup-winning captain of West Indies, who is leading Peshawar Zalmi, are also being considered by the PCB.

The PCB is also interested in hiring Sir Vivian Richards, the legendary West Indian batsman, as a mentor for the Pakistan team. Richards, who is currently working as a batting consultant for Quetta Gladiators, has praised the PSL for nurturing young Pakistani talent and expressed his willingness to help the national team.

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