Waqar Younis, Pakistan’s former head coach, was announced as Islamabad United’s new Director Cricket on Thursday in a press conference held in Lahore. Team owner Ali Naqvi made the announcement with captain Misbah-ul-Haq beside him.
Younis, who will have his first coaching stint in the PSL, will be replacing Wasim Akram, who parted ways with the champions of the first edition of the PSL after two seasons to join Multan Sultans, the new entrants into the fore.
Naqvi said Younis’ appointment will benefit young pacers after they had learnt the art of swing from Akram. Shedding light on the though, the Islamabad United’s owner said, “After having learnt swing bowling from Akram, youngsters, particularly Rumman Raees, will now be able to learn yorkers from Younis which will help them grow as fast-bowlers.”
The signing means that United’s captain Misbah-ul-Haq and Waqar will work together in a captain-coach relationship again. They had done so twice before during Waqar’s tenures as a head coach of the Pakistan team.
"Having worked with Waqar bhai before, I think his appointment is a great one for Islamabad United, and one that will benefit our bowlers and our dressing room greatly,” Pakistan’s most successful Test captain, Misbah said during the ceremony.
Speaking at the occasion, Waqar said: “Misbah and I relied on and helped each other out in the lowest of times for Pakistan cricket. Having been through the experience we had from 2010 to 2012 is something that will always be with me, so it feels great to be reunited with someone I have worked with so much over the past seven years.
"When I used to see PSL from the outside, Islamabad United seemed like a family to me and I am thrilled to be a part of it. We all want the PSL to come back to Pakistan and we are on the right track."
Multan Sultans were also in talks with Younis for a possible reunion of the two Ws at the new franchise, but it did not materialize for which Younis blamed Akram.
“There were no issues with Akram,” Naqvi said when asked whether the two parties had a fall out. “We are thankful for his services. We have a limited pool from which all the franchises have to benefit. Such switches are natural.”
The third edition of the PSL starts February 2018.