Azhar Mahmood roped in as Islamabad United Head Coach for Upcoming Season


Azhar Mahmood is roped in as Islamabad United Head Coach for Upcoming Season

Islamabad United has roped in their former Player Azhar Mahmood as the head coach for the next season of the PSL. Mahmood will take up the reins of Islamabad United from South Africa’s Johan Botha.

Azhar Mahmood who guided Islamabad United to win the inaugural season of PSL was previously the bowling coach at Karachi Kings & Multan Sultans. He was also the head coach of Pakistan’s national team for the period of 2016 & 2019. He also got the opportunity to coach the Oval Invincibles franchise at the Hundred tournament. In August last year, he worked with England as their assistant bowling coach for the T20I series against his Pakistan

“I was part of Islamabad United’s title-winning team in PSL 1,” Mahmood said. “The franchise and the twin cities of Islamabad and Rawalpindi are quite close to my heart as my 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. I am obviously familiar with most of the guys there. It was an absolute pleasure to be the bowling coach of Hassan, Shadab, Faheem, and co in my stint as Pakistan’s 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,” he added.

Meanwhile, Azhar Mahmood became the fourth head coach of the franchise that has won two titles – in 2016 and 2019 – so far, after Dean Jones, Misbah-Ul-Haq, and Botha.

On signing Mahmood, franchise owner Ali Naqvi said: “Azhar 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. Seeing the development of so many of the young bowlers in the national team over the last five years is a testament to his work ethic. Islamabad United believes in grooming our players and coaches from within, and we are pleased to have Azhar back as part of the family.

“The development of our players has been a source of pride for us, with three former Emerging Category players being part of Pakistan’s T20 World Cup squad this year, but the same is true of our coaching staff. We began this journey with only one local as part of our coaching staff back in 2016, and we are pleased that our staff this year will be overwhelmingly local, led by Azhar. Furthermore, Azhar 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.”

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