By Bongani Ndlovu
After narrowly missing out on the semi-finals of the Cricket World Cup (CWC), Pakistan sacked head coach Mickey Arthur, bowling coach Azhar Mahmood, batting coach Zimbabwean Grant Flower and trainer Grant Luden in a revamp of the national team coaching set-up.
Pakistan came fifth at the CWC after missing a semi-final berth by a whisker due to an inferior net run rate against New Zealand. The two sides had finished level on 11 points after nine matches.
In a statement, the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) said the decision comes following a review process undertaken in the aftermath of the CWC.
“The PCB Cricket Committee, which met on Friday, were unanimous in their recommend-ations for the change. The recommend-ations were forwarded and discussed with PCB chairman Ehsan Mani,” read the statement.
Mani thanked the four for their professional conduct during their tenure.
“On behalf of the PCB, I want to sincerely thank Mickey Arthur, Grant Flower, Grant Luden and Azhar Mahmood for their hard work and unwavering commitment during their tenures with the national men’s team. We wish them every success in their future endeavours.
“The PCB remains committed to its fans and followers and we will do our utmost to ensure that we make decisions that continue to move Pakistan cricket forward in all formats,” Mani said.
Flower, who was a top Zimbabwe batsman during his playing days between 1992 and 2010, was appointed Pakistan batting coach in 2014 alongside head coach South African Arthur. His contract was renewed after two years.
During Flower’s stint, Pakistan witnessed considerable improvements in their batsmen.
Their average runs per wicket were just 28.89 between January 2012 and February 2014, but since Flower’s appointment in July 2014, it rose to 43.82. The Chronicle