Head coach Misbah-ul-Haq's future could be on the line as the Pakistan Cricket Board's (PCB) top brass is mulling ways to arrest the steady deterioration in the national team's Test form over the past year - especially on away assignments.
Pakistan's 2-0 defeat at the hands of New Zealand was their third consecutive loss in the format of the past 14 months.
The national team is now a mere shadow of the side that had ascended to the top of ICC's Test team rankings just a few years ago under the captaincy of none other than Misbah himself.
The News has learnt that the PCB’s think-tank has decided to give Misbah’s future association with the national side a serious thought by convening Cricket Committee’s meeting within the next ten days to consider all the options in length and breadth.
“The Cricket Committee headed by Salim Yousaf will consider team’s poor performance in New Zealand. As the committee’s recommendations hold importance so it will suggest what should be done for better performance of the team in future. However, the recommendations would be placed before the PCB chairman for final approval. The coaches’ performance would also be considered,” a source within the PCB said.
However, there are many ifs and buts on the hiring of the new coach especially a foreigner ahead of the series against South Africa which is just two weeks away.
“The chances of reshuffling in team management, especially the head coach, look strong. But when it comes to hiring a foreign coach you need to follow the PEPRA Rules as these require one-month process that includes advertisement and other formalities. But we have to wait for the recommendations of Cricket Committee and then PCB chairman’s decision.”
It is believed that Misbah may be asked to appear before the committee along with some senior players.
“Some officials including head coach and senior players may be asked to appear before the committee to give their point of view as what went wrong during the series.”
Gary Kirsten and Andy Flower have already been tipped as strong candidates for the post of head coach.
Most likely the already fed-up cricket board may go for a foreign coach if it decides to replace Misbahul Haq.
Misbah remained under fire for his lack of coaching knowledge and inability to bring out the best from players.
“As the national team has a hectic international schedule ahead so there is a need to make necessary adjustments in the best interest of team.”
Following the home series against South Africa, top players would compete in the PSL VI and after that international assignments would start with away series against South Africa, Zimbabwe, England, and West Indies.
Pakistan will also host New Zealand, Afghanistan, and England besides competing in the T20 World Cup within a year time.