The Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) has appointed former internationals Umar Gul and Saeed Ajmal as bowling coaches for the men’s national team. While Gul has been assigned as the fast bowling coach, Ajmal will helm the spin unit.
Gul has been actively involved in coaching stints since retiring from all forms of cricket in 2020 after turning out in 47 Tests (163 wickets at 34.06), 130 ODIs (179 at 29.34) and 60 T20Is (85 at 16.97) between 2003 and 2016. He was appointed Quetta Gladiators’ bowling coach for PSL 2021, and also had a stint as Afghanistan’s national bowling coach in 2022.
The 41-year-old then served as the Pakistan bowling coach during a three-match T20I series against Afghanistan, and the subsequent series against New Zealand at home earlier this year.
“I am pleased to join as the bowling coach of Pakistan team and feel honoured to have been given the opportunity,” Gul was quoted via a press release. “Having had previous working experience with the men’s side, I will bring my coaching expertise with the aim of elevating Pakistan’s bowling prowess to new heights.”
Ajmal, the former No. 1 ODI bowler, has had an earlier stint as bowling coach with Islamabad United and comes in having represented Pakistan in 35 Tests (178 wickets at 28.10), 184 ODIs (184 wickets at 22.72) and 64 T20Is (85 wickets at 17.83). He called time on his career In 2017 finishing with an overall tally of 447 international wickets.
“I am delighted to contribute to the development of spin bowling talent within the Pakistan national team. I believe my career and coaching experience will help enhance the spin bowling arsenal of the team,” he said.
Saeed Ajmal has picked 447 international wickets for Pakistan•AFP
The duo’s role begins with Pakistan’s Test series against Australia scheduled from 14 December 14 to January 7 followed by the T20I series against New Zealand from January 12 to 21 next year.
Pakistan have had an overhaul of their backroom staff since failing to qualify for the knockout stages of the Men’s ODI World Cup 2023. Wahab Riaz, the former Pakistan fast bowler, was appointed the new chief selector of the senior men’s team, while Mohammad Hafeez was appointed Pakistan men’s team director. He will also serve as the head coach of the team in Australia and New Zealand.
They will also be going with new captains in the form of Shan Masood in Tests and Shaheen Shah Afridi in T20Is after Babar Azam stepped down as captain after the World Cup.