Pakistan have appointed former players Umar Gul and Saeed Ajmal as new bowling coaches for the international side, continuing the overhaul of their backroom staff following their disappointing group-stage exit at the Cricket World Cup.
The Pakistan Cricket Board said in a statement on Tuesday that Gul would take over as fast bowling coach, while Ajmal would be in charge of the spinners.
Both will accompany the team to Australia for the three-Test series which starts in December, as well as the five-match T20 tour of New Zealand in the new year.
Gul – who retired in 2020 after playing 237 international matches and claiming 427 wickets – has been involved in several mentoring stints since, including one as the bowling coach of Afghanistan in 2022.
Ajmal also has vast playing experience, having represented Pakistan in 212 games, taking 447 wickets. He has also coached in the Pakistan Super League. The former number one ranked bowler in the world in ODI cricket, Ajmal was famous for his ‘doosra’ – an off-spinner’s delivery that turns away from the right-handed batter.
“I am delighted to contribute to the development of spin bowling talent within the Pakistan national team,” Ajmal said. “I believe my career and coaching experience will help enhance the spin bowling arsenal of the team.”
South African Morne Morkel resigned as Pakistan’s bowling coach days after they finished fifth in the World Cup standings with eight points, having won four matches and lost five.
Former Pakistan fast bowler Wahab Riaz was named Pakistan’s new chief selector last following their exit, with Inzamam-ul-Haq stepping down. Mohammad Hafeez took over as team director in place of Mickey Arthur.
Babar Azam also resigned as captain. Fellow top-order batter Shan Masood will replace him as leader of the Test side, while pace bowler Shaheen Afridi will skipper the T20 outfit.
Pakistan will play Australia in the first Test of their series, starting at Perth from December 14. Melbourne will host the Boxing Day Test from December 26, and the series will wrap in Sydney from January 3.