PCB likely to appoint Yousuf as interim head coach as deal with Mickey Arthur takes time

Muhammad Yousuf is likely to be named interim head coach for upcoming T20I series against Afghanistan,

Sohail Imran
An undated image of Muhammad Yousuf addressing a press conference. — PCB/File
An undated image of Muhammad Yousuf addressing a press conference. — PCB/File

The Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) is likely to appoint former cricketer Muhammad Yousuf as the interim head coach of the national men’s team for the upcoming T20I series against Afghanistan, sources told Geo News on Wednesday.

They also revealed that this decision is likely to be taken due to a delay in finalising the agreement for the role of head coach with Australian great Mickey Arthur.

The Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) had earlier confirmed that it has been in talks with former national team head coach Arthur with a view to appointing him as the head coach to guide the side through the ACC Asia Cup, ICC Men’s Cricket World Cup 2023, ICC Men’s T20 World Cup 2024 and the ICC Champions Trophy 2025.

However, owing to Arthur's long-term contract with Derbyshire, PCB has also discussed a proposal to act as a consultant to the team on a time-sharing basis with Derbyshire.

Unfortunately, the cricket board was unable to strike a deal with Arthur due to which it will likely appoint Yousuf.

It must be noted that the New Zealand series was the last assignment for head coach Saqlain Mushtaq and bowling coach Shaun Tait, since their contract expired in February.

Earlier, Yousuf’s appointment, who was previously serving as the batting coach of the team, was determined on a series-to-series basis under the Ramiz Raja-led administration.

His permanent role is the batting coach of the National High-Performance Centre (NHPC) in Lahore.

Yesterday, the Afghanistan Cricket Board (ACB) announced the schedule of three T20Is against Pakistan.

Taking to Twitter, ACB announced that the two neighbouring countries will meet in three-match T20I series on March 25, 27, and 29 at the Sharjah Cricket Stadium.

Both teams were supposed to play a three-match ODI series this year, instead of T20Is, but, since Pakistan and Afghanistan have already qualified for the 2023 ODI World Cup in India, the format was changed after a meeting between PCB and ACB officials.

"I met with the executive members of Afghanistan Cricket Board and they were asking us to play an (ODI) series but we didn't find any attraction playing the series," PCB Management Committee Chairman Najam Sethi said at a press conference in January.

"It's mainly because the series was meant for the [Super League] points, and now no matter who wins it won't make a difference. So we agreed to play a series of three T20Is in Sharjah just after the PSL subject to government approval. We will share 50% of the revenue from the series equally. And we will jointly outsource the production,” he added.

The support staff and Pakistan squad for the series against Afghanistan are likely to be announced within the next few days.