PCB likely to re-appoint Azhar Mahmood as bowling coach

The PCB had decided to hire a new foreign bowling coach but due to availability issues and financial matters, the Board has decided to re-appoint Azhar Mahmood.

Former Pakistan cricketer and bowling coach Azhar Mahmood

Azhar Mahmood came under fire after Pakistan bowlers were thrashed in the first four ODIs against England including a world record score of 444 in the third match.   -  Reuters

Pakistan cricket authorities are likely to re-appoint former all-rounder Azhar Mahmood as the bowling coach of the national team before the Test series against the West Indies next month. There was a discussion of hiring a new foreign bowling coach after the tour to England, however, the Pakistan Cricket Board has now decided against it.

"The PCB has again made contact with Azhar Mahmood and is discussing contract details with him," one well-placed source in the Board told.

Azhar was also the bowling coach of the national team in the Asia Cup and World T20 earlier this year before heading to Englandf for limited-over series. His contract ended after Pakistan returned home following the conclusion of England tour.

"Yes the feedback about Azhar by the manager in England was not very strong and the head coach Mickey Arthur had also recommended some other names but negotiations didn't work out with them," the source added.

He said due to the paucity of time the Board has decided to again hire Azhar who now resides in England.

"The deal with Azhar is expected to be finalised soon as the first Test starts on October 13 in Dubai," the source noted.

Azhar, who played 21 Tests and 141 ODIs for Pakistan, came under fire after the side's bowlers were thrashed in the first four ODIs against England including a world record score of 444 in the third match. Azhar also didn't endear himself to the critics when he said at a press conference that his job as a bowling coach ended on the sidelines and the bowlers were responsible for executing the plans given out to them.

The source said the PCB had faced problems negotiating with other foreign bowling coaches mainly because of availability issues and financial matters. The PCB has already hired former Australian Test player, Steve Rixon as the fielding coach on the recommendation of Arthur and physiotherapist, Shane Hayes.