Pakistan’s Mohammad Yousuf had been named interim head coach on March 13, but that decision was changed just a day later.

Image Credit: Cricfit

Mohammad Yousuf, the Pakistan men’s team’s interim batting coach, has withdrawn from the upcoming T20I series against Afghanistan in Sharjah due to personal issues. As a result, Abdur Rehman, the interim head coach, has also taken up the batting coach role.

Yousuf was named interim head coach on March 13, which was quickly overturned after Najam Sethi, the PCB chairperson, posted a list of support personnel that differed from the previous group. The PCB explained that the announcement regarding Yousuf was incorrect and that he would continue to serve as batting coach.

But, Yousuf backed out just hours before the team’s departure for the UAE on Wednesday afternoon (the series begins on Friday).

After Saqlain Mushtaq’s contract expired, Pakistan has been without an official head coach. The PCB created temporary provisions by bringing in coaches from the domestic set-up. Rehman was elevated to a significant role. Umar Gul took over as bowling coach, while Yousuf and Abdul Majeed remained as batting and fielding coaches.

Pakistan names a touring party before deciding on a coaching staff.

Also read:

The series’ squad was picked on March 13, a day before the crew was revealed. The Haroon Rasheed-led selections committee announced the team and saw significant changes: Imad Wasim and Faheem Ashraf were recalled, and Shadab Khan was made captain. In contrast, significant PSL 2023 players Saim Ayub and Ihsanullah were called up for the first time. Meanwhile, the squad’s core has been rested, with Babar Azam, Mohammad Rizwan, Haris Rauf, Fakhar Zaman, and Shaheen Afridi missing from the team.

“I believe the coaching staff was called after the squad because it’s a transitory employment,” Rehman explained on Tuesday. “This question could have been more pertinent if there had been a permanent staff, but since I was given an interim post, my role is to attempt to win the series.”

“I’ve been doing this job for the previous 15 years,” Rehman remarked, leading a squad with numerous senior coaches. I’m not going to be dictating conditions to them. Having them around boosts my confidence. Working with them is a privilege; we must collaborate, and I must benefit from their experience.

“Umar Gul is a great name in T20 cricket; Mohammad Yousuf is a big figure who has done a lot for the country, and having such people in the dressing room is a blessing.” That is a team effort, and we shall collaborate. Every team-related decision will be made after a team-wide discussion.”

The first Twenty20 International (T20I) will be contested on March 24, followed by two back-to-back games on March 26 and 27. This will be the first bilateral series between the countries in any format.