New Delhi : The Pakistan Cricket Board after much reluctance has agreed to coach Mickey Arthur's request by appointing former legspinner Mustaq Ahmed as assistant coach for the England tour. PCB chairman Shaharyar Khan said on Wednesday that former Test cricketer Mushtaq Ahmed will be appointed as assistant coach for the four-Test series while Azhar Mahmood will replace him for the subsequent one-day and T20 series during the tour.
“Azhar has a prior commitment with English county, Surrey until end of July. So most probably we will release Mushtaq as head coach of the national cricket academy and allow him to accompany the Pakistan team for the four Test matches to England,” Khan said.
The source said Azhar was not available for the first part of the tour due to his prior commitments with English county, Surrey. "With Azhar not available for the Tests, the board found itself in a dicey situation with Arthur asking as to who would be assisting him as the team leaves for England around June 17th," the source said.
He said with time running out the board finally decided to allow Mushtaq to go with the team to England.
"Initially, the board had explained to Arthur they couldn't release Mushtaq since he was now working as head coach at the NCA in Lahore." Ironically, the board had released Mushtaq quietly as assistant coach when Waqar Younis was head coach and Pakistan had gone to play in the Asia Cup and World T20. The source said the board had also accepted Arthur's recommendation to hire former Australian wicketkeeper Steve Rixon as fielding coach of the team with Zimbabwe's Grant Ludon now working as trainer.
Rixon was assistant coach of the Australian team until January 2014 when Darren Lehmann opted for his own hand-picked support staff. The source said another important decision which the board has taken is to appoint a public relations firm in the United Kingdom for the duration of the Pakistan team s tour. "The public relations firm will be responsible for working with the Pakistan team management in England and will ensure that a positive image of Pakistan cricket is built throughout the tour," the source added. The board had earlier tried to appoint a foreign media professional to work as media manager of the Pakistan team in England but failed to convince two candidates to accept the assignment.