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Sports

Islamabad United appoint Azhar Mahmood as head coach for PSL 7

  • Will replace Johan Botha, who will be unable to join the franchise this season
02 Dec, 2021

Islamabad United on Thursday appointed Azhar Mahmood as their head coach for the seventh edition of the Pakistan Super League (PSL), an official handout issued by the franchise said.

The former Pakistan bowling coach will replace Johan Botha, who will be unable to join the franchise this season due to his commitments in Australia.

Mahmood, who has vast coaching experience at the international level, was previously associated with Karachi Kings and Multan Sultans as part of the coaching staff. He was also part of Islamabad United’s title-winning squad in the first edition of the PSL.

Recently, he was brought in as a consultant for the England national team in the summer of 2021, following his stint as the bowling coach of the Oval Invincibles in the Hundred.

Babar Azam to lead Karachi Kings in PSL 7

The former Pakistan international played 164 matches for Pakistan, in addition to playing franchise T20 cricket in England, New Zealand, India, Australia, South Africa, and the West Indies.

Mahmood welcomed the move and said that Islamabad and Rawalpindi were very close to his heart as his hometowns.

“United have always paved the way and provided a platform for emerging players, from Shadab to Asif to most recently Wasim, all started their careers here. It is not only a great platform for grooming local players but coaches too. Saeed Ajmal is such an example and I look forward to working with him this year now that I take a new path in my career as the Head Coach of Islamabad United.”

PCB keen to organise players' draft for PSL 7

The former all-rounder said he was quite familiar with most of the guys on the team. He said it would be a pleasure for him to coach bowlers like Hasan Ali, Shadab Khan, Faheem Ashraf, and company during his stint as the bowling coach.

“Together we became the number 1 T20 team in the world for an extended period of time. I have played franchise cricket all over the world and I look forward to sharing my experience with the guys at Islamabad United. The franchise believes in unity, empowers youngsters, and believes in data; those are values that are dear to me. I thank Mr Ali Naqvi for the trust he has put in me and I will do my best to deliver to his expectations.”

Ali Naqvi, the Owner of Islamabad United, said: “Mahmood was with us back in 2016 and his subsequent success as a bowling coach is not a surprise to anyone who interacted with him then.”

“Mahmood provides the progressive understanding of T20 cricket that we pride ourselves on, and we are confident that he will do his utmost in achieving our shared goals,” he added.

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