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Thursday Dec 05 2019

Islamabad United appoints Misbah as new head coach

Misbah's appointment came with much backlash.—Photo: AFP/File

KARACHI: Islamabad United on Thursday announced the appointment of Misbah-ul-Haq as the new head coach and former New Zealand player Luke Ronchi as assistant coach.

Misbah had previously captained the United side in the PSL's first three seasons, wherein the team saw two victories, whereas Ronchi had been part of the United squad since PSL 3. Former cricketer Saeed Ajmal, who was part of the 2016 winning team, will join the duo as the spin bowling coach.

Islamabad United owner, Ali Naqvi, said the franchise's aim was to promote experienced players by handing them coaching gigs. "From the start one of our goals has been to promote from within.

"There has been a dearth of Pakistani coaches coming through, and we have aimed from the first season of the PSL to plan towards evolving experienced players into coaching," he said.

Read more: Moin Khan against Misbah-ul-Haq's involvement in any PSL franchise

The Kiwi cricketer said he hoped to contribute in the "family-like" team. "I will look to mentor and coach the guys where needed. I love how this team is run like a family, and this constant evolution is a journey I wish to contribute on," he added.

The United head coach expressed his gratitude as the news was announced, saying he was "absolutely ready" for the job.

"I am humbled with the opportunity that Islamabad United have offered me, and I take this role as a massive responsibility.

"I know that this franchise has championship expectations but I am absolutely ready for the task at hand," Misbah said.

Talks surrounding the head coach's appointment triggered a debate as to whether he should have been given the position given his membership in the national cricket committee.

Moreover, Quetta Gladiators head coach Moin Khan had taken a dig at Misbah on Wednesday, citing that his appointment would spark a conflict of interest.

"Everyone can understand that would be conflict of interest, simply. One should voluntarily step down when such conflict is there and avoid any such move because he holds a responsibility with Pakistan cricket team," Moin said.

"The PCB must make sure that the way they have stopped other coaches from taking PSL roles, they should act here as well to avoid conflict of interest. The policy is applied uniformly on everyone," he had said.

The PCB had earlier removed chief selector Inzamam-ul-Haq and member selection committee Tausif Ahmed from the PSL draft committee due to the duo’s roles with different PSL franchises to avoid conflict of interest.