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PCB to appoint Mushtaq, Azhar as assistant coach for Eng tour

Karachi: The Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) has found a solution to appointing an assistant coach with Mickey Arthur for the tour to England.

PCB chairman Shaharyar Khan said yesterday that former Test cricketer Mushtaq Ahmed will be appointed as assistant coach for the four-Test series while Azhar Mahmood will replace him for the subsequent one-day and T20 series during the tour.

"Azhar has a prior commitment with English county, Surrey until end of July. So most probably we will release Mushtaq as head coach of the national cricket academy and allow him to accompany the Pakistan team for the four Test matches to England," Khan said.

After the Test series is over Mushtaq will relinquish his duties as assistant coach/bowling coach and return home to resume his duties at NCA and Azhar will take over in the same position.

The PCB apparently has offered Azhar a one-year contract as assistant and bowling coach and he will be with Arthur for the five ODIs and T20 match in England.

The PCB was clearly more interested in having Azhar for the full tour although Arthur had requested for Mushtaq. But Azhar's contract with Surrey has led them to utilize the services of former Test leg-spinner, Mushtaq for the Tests.

Azhar had a short stint as bowling coach with the Pakistan team in the World T20 in India while Mushtaq has been attached with the greenshirts as assistant coach, bowling coach and spin consultant since 2014 before he was released by the board prior to the World event and told to report at the NCA.

Shaharyar Khan also said that PCB plans to move their "home" series against West Indies in the UAE to Sri Lanka had not been successful due to the problems posed by the monsoon season in the pearl islands between September-October.

Khan said in all probability the home series would now be held in the UAE although the PCB had been keen on exploring Sri Lanka as another neutral venue option.

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