Mark Coles steps down as Pakistan women cricket team coach

Iqbal Imam appointed interim head coach of women cricket team

Pakistan Cricket Board
Mark Coles took over the responsibilities in October 2017 and had a contract until the end of the ICC Women’s T20 World Cup. Photo: Paksistan Cricket Board

LAHORE: Mark Coles has stepped down as Pakistan national women’s team head coach citing family reasons and will be returning to New Zealand next week.

Coles took over the responsibilities in October 2017 and had a contract until the end of the ICC Women’s T20 World Cup Australia 2020 to be held from February 21 to March 8.

“It is with a very heavy heart that I have decided to step down from my coaching role, something which I had enjoyed tremendously. However, at this time my family responsibilities are such that they need my undivided attention and focus," Coles said.

“I have been thinking about this for some time and taking into account Pakistan has some critical assignments in the next few months, I thought it was fair to the side I convey my decision to the Pakistan Cricket Board so that they have enough time to find a replacement," he added.

Coles further said he enjoyed his stay in Lahore and working with the women’s team as well as all those who are associated with women’s cricket. 

"It was been particularly pleasing to see some of the girls grow in stature and make their team and country proud," he said. “I will miss working with all these girls and will always remain their supporter and well-wisher. I have no doubts the Pakistan national women’s team will continue to make an upward progress.”

PCB Chief Executive Wasim Khan said, “I am fully aware of Mark’s personal reasons and appreciate that despite pressing matters, he remained committed to Pakistan and the national women’s team. I would like to place on record our thanks to Mark for his contribution during his tenure.

“But family has to come first and in this relation, I understand and accept the reasons for his departure, though it is sad to see him leave at a time when the team has started to show signs of significant improvement,” he added.

The Pakistan national women’s team achieved major results during Coles’ tenure as head coach.

They are presently sitting fifth in the ICC Women’s Championship and have an outstanding chance of qualifying directly for the ICC Women’s World Cup 2021.

Under his watch in 50-over cricket, Pakistan lost 2-1 to New Zealand, beat Sri Lanka 3-0, lost 1-0 to Bangladesh, lost 3-0 to Australia, defeated the West Indies 2-1 and drew 1-1 with South Africa.

In the shortest format this year, Pakistan women narrowly lost 2-1 (in Super Over) to the West Indies and 3-2 to South Africa.

Also during his time, Sana Mir became the most successful ODI spinner in the world, Javeria Khan and Bismah Maroof were named to lead a multi-nation Women’s Global Development squad and Nida Dar became the first Pakistan woman player to earn a contract in a foreign league.

Meanwhile, the PCB has appointed batting coach Iqbal Imam as interim head coach for the upcoming series against Bangladesh, which will be played from 26 October to 4 November in Lahore.

The recruitment process for Coles’ successor will commence shortly.