PCB weighs Gary Kirsten, Justin Langer for coaching slot

Sports Desk
Gary Kirsten (left) and Justin Langer (right) can be seen in this collage.—AFP/File
Gary Kirsten (left) and Justin Langer (right) can be seen in this collage.—AFP/File 

LAHORE: South Africa’s Gary Kirsten and Australia’s Justice Langer are the two names being mulled by the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) as the national cricketing body continues its quest to fill the vacant position of national team’s head coach.

Kirsten has coached for India while Langer served as Australia’s coach in the past.

The national cricketing body is reportedly keen on securing a long-term contract for the new coach, as the Men in Green have been without a designated head coach since the dismissal of Grant Bradburn in the aftermath of a disappointing ODI World Cup campaign last year.

Former allrounder Mohammad Hafeez temporarily filled the void, serving as both team director and head coach during Pakistan’s tours of Australia and New Zealand. However, Hafeez stepped down from the post last month, leaving the PCB scrambling to find a suitable replacement.

Initially, the PCB engaged in talks with former Australian allrounder Shane Watson for the head coach’s role. However, negotiations broke down, with PCB chief Mohsin Naqvi citing leaks to the media as a contributing factor to Watson’s decision not to accept the offer.

“We were also in talks with Shane Watson, and one reason for him not accepting the offer was because so many things leaked out in the media, most of which were not correct,” revealed Naqvi.

In addition to Kirsten and Langer, the PCB is reportedly exploring options with Mike Hesson, Matthew Hayden, Eoin Morgan, and Phil Simmons. While former PCB chief Zaka Ashraf advocated for local coaches, Naqvi has expressed a preference for a foreign coach.

However, the PCB faces challenges in convincing overseas candidates due to concerns stemming from the treatment of past coaches, both foreign and local.

“It is because of the PCB’s poor track record in appointing and sacking coaches — foreign and local — in the past that others are now very reluctant to accept any offer from the PCB,” a board official acknowledged.