Lahore: Pakistan has re-hired South African-based English coach Richard Pybus as coach until next year's World Cup in South Africa, officials said on Saturday.
"Pybus had a discussion with Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) chairman Lieutenant General Tauqir Zia and they mutually agreed a contract running until next year's World Cup," said a spokesman for the Board. On Tuesday the Board sacked Mudassar Nazar following the national team's dismal performance in recent matches. Pakistan, after beating Australia in a One-day series in Australia in June, failed to qualify for the final of the inaugural Morocco Cup in August and then surrendered abjectly twice against Australia in the tri-series in Kenya.
Rain saved Pakistan's blushes when the Nairobi final could not be completed and Pakistan shared the trophy with Australia. However it lost the opening match of the ongoing International Cricket Council (ICC) Champions Trophy against hosts Sri Lanka and failed to progress in the contest. Pakistan starts its Test series against Australia in Colombo from October 3 to 7. Sharjah will host the other two Tests from October 11 to 15 and on October 19-23 in a series switched from the host country over security fears.
Pybus's first assignment against the mighty Australians is a formidable one with a new-look team. "Obviously it's disappointing to lose some senior players but it's a great opportunity for younger players to make their mark and begin a new future for Pakistan cricket," he said. "Australia is a great team and it will be a tremendous challenge but we will play positive cricket." Pybus was first hired as coach for Pakistan's tour of Australia three years ago but was sacked following a 3-0 blank.
"That was my only negative experience with Pakistan because the team did well and were unfortunate to lose the series," he said. His second stint started when he was hired for Pakistan's tour of England last year but it ended on an acrimonious note when he expressed concern about travelling to Pakistan following the events of September 11.