Andy Flower, former Zimbabwe cricketer and renowned coach has decided against coaching the Pakistan team due to his busy schedule. According to sources, the previous Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) regime led by Chairman Ehsan Mani were looking to replace the current Head Coach, Misbah-ul Haq, with Andy Flower, after Pakistan’s recent T20I series defeat against England.
Andy Flower, who is the head coach of PSL franchise Multan Sultans, CPL’s Saint Lucia Kings, T10’s Delhi Bulls, The Hundred’s Trent Rockets while also being the assistant coach of IPL side Punjab Kings, has told the PCB that he is not interested in coaching any international side, at the moment, as he is more inclined towards franchise cricket.
Andy Flower’s Refusal Makes Task Of Appointing A Foreign Coach Harder
After Andy Flower’s refusal, the task of appointing a foreign coach for the Pakistan team has become difficult. Despite Ehsan Mani’s exit, Misbah-ul-Haq is not in the good books of the PCB as the likely new Chairman Ramiz Raja is also in favour of appointing a foreign coach. Although sources added that Misbah-ul-Haq’s removal is unlikely to take place before this year’s T20 World Cup, due to lack of time for the new coach to adjust before the mega event.
Misbah-ul-Haq was appointed as the head coach and chief selector in September 2019, with strong backing from Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Wasim Khan. The PCB’s top brass considered Misbah-ul-Haq a ‘yes man’, however, that was not the case which strained relations between the two parties. Misbah-ul-Haq is likely to keep his job till the conclusion of the 2021 T20 World Cup.
Andy Flower was the mainstay of the Zimbabwe side for more than a decade and represented the Zimbabwe cricket team in 63 Tests, and 213 ODI matches. While he amassed 4794 runs in the longest format at an excellent average of 51.55, he also plundered 6786 runs in the ODI format of the game at an average in excess of 35. He has scored 16 centuries in both Tests and ODIs put together.
Misbah-ul-Haq’s Tenure Has Been Far From Ideal
Misbah-ul-Haq had voiced his opinion on various matters which did not go down well with the PCB officials. He was also part of the contingent, including cricketers Azhar Ali and Mohammad Hafeez, which met Prime Minister Imran Khan and expressed their reservations over the new domestic system. That meeting was the start of Misbah-ul-Haq’s downfall as, soon after, he stepped down as the chief selector in October last year.
Pakistan’s performance during Misbah-ul-Haq’s tenure has been far from ideal, winning 16 and losing 13 matches out of 34, as the team slipped from first to the fourth position in the ICC T20 Rankings. He was also instrumental in removing wicketkeeper-batsman Sarfaraz Ahmed as captain, which disturbed the team’s combination. Apart from a second-string South Africa team, Pakistan was not able to register wins against top sides.
As far as Test cricket is concerned, Pakistan has won seven, lost six, and drew three out of 16 matches. Their current ranking is number five in the longest format of the game. Meanwhile, in ODI cricket, Pakistan won six out of 11 matches while losing on four occasions whereas one match ended in a tie. They are currently ranked sixth in 50-over cricket and were recently whitewashed, three-nil, by a second-string England side.
At present, Flower is associated with multiple teams as a coach, he is the head coach of Multan Sultans (PSL), St Lucia Kings (CPL), Trent Rockets (The Hundred) and assistant coach of Punjab Kings (IPL).
Andy Flower’s denial to take the position of the head coach will be a difficult task for PCB to recruit a foreign coach that also when the ICC T20 World Cup 2021 is not even two months away. If we believe some sources, then Misbah-ul-Haq’s removal is unlikely to take place at least before the T20 World Cup this year.
Misbah-ul-Haq was appointed as the head coach and chief selector in September 2019, with strong backing from Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Wasim Khan. Later in October 2020, he stepped down from the selector’s role and purely is focused on coaching the team.