LAHORE: The Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) on Thursday appointed former Zimbabwe opener Grant Flower as their batting coach in a comprehensive overhaul of the national team’s management in their bid to win next year’s World Cup. Grant has been named coach for two years. The appointment comes little more than a week after former pacer Waqar Younis returned as the head coach. Grant was recommended by the coach selection committee comprising Moin Khan (chief selector), Intikhab Alam (director domestic cricket operations) and Haroon Rashid (director game development). He will start in August, just before the Sri Lanka series.
Grant is younger brother of former England coach Andy Flower. “We have completed the signing of Grant Flower as batting coach for two years starting from August,” a PCB spokesman told reporters. Flower, 43, was Zimbabwe’s batting coach for over three years starting October 2010, and was a key player for his country in a lengthy career that included 67 Tests and 221 ODIs. He had applied for the Pakistan batting coach job last year as well but was not appointed. Pakistan’s batting has been one of their major weaknesses in recent years, and the PCB had turned to former greats like Inzamamul Haq, Javed Miandad and Zaheer Abbas to bring about improvements. Pakistan had also hired Australian Trent Woodhill for a brief two-month stint last year but even that failed to bring any improvement to Pakistan’s batsmen, who are regarded as flat track bullies.
The PCB is also likely to appoint former England fielding coach Richard Halsall as their fielding and strengthening trainer. Grant is known for his superior technique among Zimbabwean batsmen. Ironically his highest Test score of 201 came against Pakistan at Harare in 1995. Pakistan’s national team has been plagued by batting problems, mostly on foreign tours. They lost all three Tests in South Africa and were bowled out for their lowest score of 49 in the Johannesburg Test last year.
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