Pakistan Cricket Board appoints Gillespie and Kirsten as men's head coaches | Cricket News

Kirsten will take charge of limited overs formats and Gillespie in Tests after months of turmoil in Pakistan cricket.

Former South African batter and coach Gary Kirsten has been appointed as the head coach of the Pakistan men's cricket team in limited-overs cricket ahead of the upcoming match. ICC Men's T20 World Cup 2024while former Australian fast bowler Jason Gillespie was appointed head coach of the Test team.

The announcement made on Sunday at the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) headquarters in Lahore follows months of unrest at the board of directorswhere the coaching staff, captains and management went through several changes after Pakistan finished fifth at the 2023 ICC Cricket World Cup in India, failing to qualify for the semi-finals.

Gillespie – who played 71 Tests and 91 one-day internationals (ODIs) – will step down from his role as South Australia coach in his home country.

“I really want Pakistan to play our way,” Gillespie told Al Jazeera shortly before his appointment was confirmed.

The 49-year-old, nicknamed Dizzy, said he wanted the team to “be genuine and genuine”.

“Let’s entertain our fans with a little fun and play with a smile on our faces,” Gillespie said.

Azhar Mahmood, the former Pakistan all-rounder who has been part of the coaching staff on several occasions, will be retained as a multi-format assistant coach.

Meanwhile, Kirsten, who led India to their second World Cup title in 2011 and coached the South Africa men's team in addition to several stints in club and franchise cricket, will take on charges the limited-overs team immediately after completing his ongoing stint with the Indian Prime Minister. Team of the League (IPL) Gujarat Titans.

Apart from the upcoming T20 World Cup 2024 and other bilateral white-ball series, Kirsten will also be in charge of the squad for next year's ICC Champions Trophy 2025 in Pakistan, T20 Asia Cup 2025 and the ICC Men's T20 World Cup 2026 in India and Sri Lanka.

Gillespie will take responsibility for the ICC World Test Championship matches against Bangladesh (home in August), which will be followed by Tests against England (home in October) and South Africa (away in December) during the 2024-25 season.

Born in Sydney, New South Wales, Gillespie made his Test debut against the West Indies in 1996, becoming the first recognized Aboriginal descendant to represent Australia in Test cricket.

Despite a career marred by injuries, Gillespie became his country's sixth-highest wicket-taker in Tests with 259 victims at an average of 26.

Gillespie was also the bowling coach of IPL side Kings XI Punjab before being appointed head coach at Yorkshire, where he had spent two seasons towards the end of his playing career.

One of Gillespie's finest moments came with the bat when he scored an unbeaten 201 against Bangladesh in the second Test in 2006. Arriving as a night watchman at three o'clock, the right-hander batted for 574 minutes against 425 deliveries and helped establish an innings and 80-run victory in the 2–0 series victory, in which he took eight wickets and was named player of the series.

White-ball coach Kirsten is a former South Africa top-order batter and played 101 Tests and 185 ODIs for the Proteas from 1993 to 2004.

The 56-year-old coached India from 2008 to 2011 and was instrumental in their World Cup victory at home in 2011, while topping the ICC Test team rankings during of his mandate.

He then returned to his home country and coached the men's team from 2011 to 2013 as they developed into the premier Test team.

Kirsten said her “main goal” is to ensure the team performs at its “optimal level.”

“While fluctuations in player form are inevitable, maintaining a stable environment is crucial,” he said in a PCB statement announcing his appointment.

“I am committed to supporting players through their ups and downs, prioritizing selection continuity wherever possible.”

Earlier this year, Grant Bradburn quit as Pakistan head coach – two months after the 50-over World Cup in India – followed by the successive departures of team director Mickey Arthur and coach batters Andrew Puttick.

Former Pakistan all-rounder Mohammad Hafeez replaced Bradburn and Arthur as head coach and team manager after the team's unsuccessful tour of Australia and New Zealand. Pakistan were whitewashed 3-0 in the Test series against world champions Australia and lost the T20 series to New Zealand 4-1.

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