Saqlain Mushtaq, the former head coach of Pakistan’s national cricket squad, has been appointed as the assistant coach for New Zealand’s cricket team. The news was confirmed on Saturday, with Mushtaq revealing that it is a short-term commitment and an honor for him. He will join the NZ squad on April 12, after returning from the United States.
Mushtaq stepped down as the interim head coach of Pakistan’s cricket squad in January, and this will be his first assignment with the New Zealand cricket team. He has been appointed in time for New Zealand’s upcoming tour of Pakistan, which includes a five-match T20I and One Day Internationals (ODI) series scheduled to take place from April 14 to May 7.
It is noteworthy that Mushtaq’s contract as the head coach of Pakistan’s national cricket team expired in February, and the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) is expected to appoint Mickey Arthur as the new head coach once again. The board is also reportedly looking to hire Grant Bradburn as the assistant coach, former South African pacer Morne Morkel as the bowling coach, and Andrew Puttick as the batting coach for Pakistan.
The coaching panel is expected to join the team before the start of the home series against New Zealand. Mickey Arthur previously coached Pakistan’s national cricket team from 2016 to 2019, during which time the team won the Champions Trophy 2017 and rose to the top spot in the T20I rankings. However, he was removed from the position following Pakistan’s fifth-place finish in the Cricket World Cup 2019.