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Misbah appointed Pakistan head coach and chief selector

Misbah-ul-Haq has been confirmed as the new Pakistan head coach as well as the Chairman of Selectors on a three-year contract.

After days of speculation, Pakistan's most successful Test captain has been given the dual role while two-time former head coach Waqar Younis has been named the bowling coach.

Misbah had earlier quashed rumours of applying for the head coach position left vacant after PCB's refusal to grant an extension to Mickey Arthur but later resigned from his post in the PCB Cricket Committee to formally submit his application hours before the deadline.

The 45-year-old was selected by the five-member panel in charge of the recruitment process.

The panel included Intikhab Alam (former captain and the longest-serving Pakistan team manager and coach), Bazid Khan (former international cricketer and one of the most respected commentators), Asad Ali Khan (member, Board of Governors), Wasim Khan (Chief Executive, PCB) and Zakir Khan (Director – International Cricket, PCB).

It has been revealed that Waqar was appointed on the recommendation of Misbah, with whom he has previously worked from May 2014 to April 2016.

“I am excited to once again have someone as experienced and knowledgeable as Waqar Younis in my corner as a bowling coach. We have exciting young fast bowlers in our ranks and there is no better person than Waqar to transform them into modern day stars," Misbah said.

“Both Waqar and I had a candid and frank discussion and we discussed and agreed on a number of things, including roles and responsibilities as well as how to take things forward."

Waqar's last tenure as the head coach of the side saw him face severe backlash after Pakistan could not progress to the semi-finals of the T20 World Cup in 2016.

'Pakistan requires a change in the dressing room culture'

Although the PCB declined to share the names of other candidates for the head coach post, it is believed that Mohsin Khan and Dean Jones also applied.

Misbah captained Pakistan for almost seven years, seeing tremendous levels of success in the longest format before leading Islamabad United to glory in the inaugural edition of the Pakistan Super League.

“It is very humbling for me to join a select group of some of the very best to have coached the Pakistan national sides in the past. It is an honour and more than that, a massive responsibility as we live and breathe cricket," Misbah spoke on his appointment.

“I know expectations are high, but I am absolutely ready and up for the task otherwise I would not have thrown my name in the hat for one of the most challenging and coveted roles in Pakistan cricket."

The 45-year-old recognized the fact Pakistan required a change in their style of cricket in order to keep up with the pace of modern-day cricket.

“We have some of the most talented and exciting cricketers, and I will like to help them train and prepare in such a way that they can play intelligently, smartly and fearlessly. I am aware this will require a change in the dressing room culture but if we have to compete consistently at the highest level, we have to embrace these modern day requirements."

“There was a lot of talk about the type of cricket I used to play and what type of cricket I would bring once I became the coach. As a coach I will try to play aggressive cricket, to play attacking cricket and win.”

'The concept of coach-cum-selector is an innovative one' - Wasim Khan

PCB Chief Executive Wasim Khan emphasized his belief in Misbah's abilities to handle the responsibilities stemming from the dual role of head coach and chief selector.

Khan also alluded to the added onus on Misbah to lift the performances of the national side.

“We are delighted to have someone of Misbah-ul-Haq’s leadership, skill and stature taking on the responsibility of our national team. At the same time, I want to thank all the local and foreign candidates who offered their services, but the panel unanimously put their weight behind Misbah as it believed he was a perfect fit for the dual assignments due to his understanding, knowledge and demands of Pakistan cricket across all the three formats of the game.

“The concept of a head coach also being a chief selector is an innovative one and a new introduction to our system. But, while the PCB has further empowered Misbah, it has also put more responsibility on his shoulders as he will now be solely responsible and accountable for his side’s performances. As always, PCB checks and balances will remain," Khan added.

The first assignment for Pakistan's new coaching staff will be the home series against Sri Lanka as they will play three ODIs and three T20Is towards the end of this month.

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