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Azhar Mahmood named Pakistan head coach for New Zealand T20Is

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Former Pakistan fast bowler Azhar Mahmood has been named as the head coach of the Pakistan men’s cricket team for the upcoming five-match T20I series against New Zealand.

Azhar represented Pakistan in 164 internationals, taking 162 wickets and scoring 2,421 runs. Azhar’s previous assignment with the Pakistan men’s cricket team was from 2016-2019 when he was the bowling coach.

Wahab Riaz has been appointed as the senior team manager, while Mohammad Yousuf will be the batting coach.

Saeed Ajmal, who was the bowling coach on the last tours of Australia and New Zealand, will continue as the spin bowling coach.

Pakistan team player support personnel for New Zealand T20Is:

Wahab Riaz (senior team manager), Mansoor Rana (team manager), Azhar Mahmood (head coach), Mohammad Yousuf (batting coach), Saeed Ajmal (spin bowling coach), Aftab Khan (field coach), Cliffe Deacon (physiotherapist), Drikus Saiman (strength and conditioning coach), Talha Butt (analyst), Irtiza Komail (security manager), Raza Kitchlew (media and digital manager), Zain Maqsood (videographer), Dr Khurram Sarwar (doctor), and Mohammad Imran (masseur).

Earlier on Monday, the national selection committee met Pakistan cricketers who featured in Kakul’s physical training camp at a local hotel in Islamabad.

Among the 29 players who featured in the camp, only Mohammad Rizwan was not present, as he had left for Saudi Arabia to perform Umrah on Sunday night.

In the meeting, the selection committee took the players in confidence regarding the selection policy, which includes rotation policy and providing opportunities to new players.

The national selection committee members present at the meeting were Abdul Razzaq, Asad Shafiq, Bilal Afzal, Hasan Cheema, Mohammad Yousuf and Wahab Riaz. Usman Wahla – Director International Cricket Operations also attended the meeting.

New Zealand are slated to reach Pakistan on April 14, two days after Pakistan’s squad announcement, for the crucial series, leading to the ICC Men’s T20I World Cup.

Rawalpindi’s Pindi Cricket Stadium will host the first three T20Is between Pakistan and New Zealand on 18, 20 and 21 April.

The two sides will then travel to Lahore to lock horns in the remaining two T20Is on 25 and 27 April, respectively.

READ: Babar Azam opens up on ‘painful’ defeat against Afghanistan in World Cup

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