Gary Kirsten and Jason Gillespie named head coaches for white, red-ball cricket – Sport

Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) Chairman Mohsin Naqvi on Sunday announced that former South Africa top-order batter Gary Kirsten and ex-Australia fast bowler Jason Gillespie had been appointed head coaches for the men’s national team for white and red-ball, respectively.

He made the announcement while addressing a press conference in Lahore alongside PCB Chief Operating Officer (COO) Salman Naseer and Azhar Mahmood — who was announced as the assistant coach in all formats.

A separate press release issued by the PCB said the three appointments had been made for a two-year period following a recruitment process.

“Kirsten will take charge of the side immediately after completing his assignment in the Indian Premier League,” the PCB said.

During his tenure, besides the upcoming ICC Men’s T20 World Cup 2024 and other bilateral white-ball series, Kirsten will also be in charge of the side for next year’s ICC Champions Trophy 2025 in Pakistan, ACC T20 Asia Cup 2025 and the ICC Men’s T20 World Cup 2026 in India and Sri Lanka, it said.

It further said that Gillespie would assume responsibilities for the ICC World Test Championship fixtures against Bangladesh (at home in August), which would be followed by Tests against England (at home in October) and South Africa (away in December) in the 2024-25 season.

In the press release, Naqvi congratulated the two foreign coaches on their appointments, saying their “stellar track records precede them”.

“I have every confidence that their expertise will guide our players to reach new heights, aligning with their inherent talent and the expectations of our passionate fans. These high-quality appointments also present a remarkable opportunity for our players to glean insights from these seasoned professionals, refining their skills and fortifying their cricketing acumen,” he said.

“The PCB is unwavering in its commitment to furnish the national team with top-tier resources and facilities, fostering an environment conducive to unlocking their full potential and consistently delivering stellar performances,” he added.

The press release also had quotes from the two new head coaches. Gillespie said he was grateful to the PCB for “giving me the honour of coaching one of the most highly-regarded and talented cricket teams in the traditional format of the sport”.

“Within Pakistan we have a number of high-quality fast bowlers and being able to utilise them will be a key part of any success we enjoy. But we have quality in all departments — pace, spin, batting and keeping. We have all bases covered. It is exciting to know we have that talent and I am looking forward to working with such talented players,” he said.

Meanwhile, Kirsten said his goal was to “unite the Pakistan men’s white-ball team, harnessing their considerable talents towards a common objective, and achieving success together on the field”.

“My perspective on Pakistan cricket has remained consistent over time. There’s always an inherent expectation for the team to perform at a high level consistently. However, in team sports, maintaining peak performance is not always guaranteed. As a coach, it’s immensely gratifying to assist players in unlocking their full potential. I eagerly anticipate collaborating with the individual players and the team, facilitating their growth and development,” he said.

“My primary objective is to ensure the team operates at its optimal level. Success on the field is contingent upon the team performing at its best. Consistency and continuity are values I hold dear. While player form fluctuations are inevitable, maintaining a stable environment is crucial. I am committed to supporting players through their ups and downs, prioritising continuity in selections whenever possible,” he said.

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