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The Afghanistan Cricket Board (ACB) has inducted Pakistan cricket giants Younis Khan and Umar Gul as their national side’ coaching consultants for a short stint in UAE. The dynamic duo will act as Afghanistan team’s batting and bowling consultants respectively as announced by the board on 2nd April 2022.
What is the Afghanistan team’s UAE tour about?
According to AC, the men’s senior cricket side will tour UAE for not only training purposes but also to enable some of the players and senior staff to gain the country’s nationality. Owing to the political turmoil, the Afghan soil rarely hosts countries and often uses the stadiums in the Emirates as their home ground.
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Hence a training and preparatory session has been scheduled in the country to help the side prepare for the upcoming cricket assignments that include two major tournaments starting with Asia Cup in late August which will be staged in Sri Lanka followed by the T20I World Cup in Australia scheduled to take place in October. The cricket board deemed it necessary to hold a camp that will include coaches who possess the best game knowledge and skill.
“With the influx of players into the country, the ACB preferred to organize a training and preparation camp for the Afghan players under the supervision of some best coaches in the UAE to better prepare for the upcoming cricketing events,” the official statement said.
Younis Khan and Umar Gul are elated to coach the Afghanistan team
Pakistan’s former middle-order batter and one of the greatest batsmen in cricket history, Younis Khan has 10,000 runs in his cap in 213 Test innings and has aggregated more than 7000 runs in ODI. Khan was appointed Pakistan’s batting coach in 2020 ahead of the side’s tour to England but had to step down in 2021 before his contract was due to end.
On ACB’s appointment, the right-hand batter took to social media to express his happiness in his newly appointed role and said he always wanted to world with the Afghanistan team and was in talks with the board since his playing days.
Bowling coach Umar Gul, who has enjoyed massive fame due to his electric pace bagging 163 Test and 179 ODI wickets feels honoured for being granted this opportunity. For Gul this will add another coaching stint in his career since the bowler has previously been engaged in this role in Pakistan Super League (PSL), Kashmir Premier League (KPL) and Lanka Premier League (LPL).
‘UAE cap a great Opportunity’
Mr Naseeb Khan, CEO of ACB in a statement released by the board said, “The UAE camp is a great opportunity for the players to get adequate training in the relevant departments of the game and get fully prepared for future competitions. Younis Khan and Omar Gul have rich experience in international cricket and I am sure they will help our boys overcome the concerns they have got in the batting and bowling departments.”
The team’s last outing was the tour of Bangladesh in February-March 2022 for a series of three ODIs and two T20Is. While the visitors lost the 50-overs series, they managed to draw the T20Is. Currently, many big names from the national team are participating in the Indian Premier League (IPL) including Rashid Khan and skipper Muhammad Nabi.
Earlier Graham Thorpe, former English player and sacked assistant coach of England’s men’s cricket team was appointed as the Head Coach of the Afghanistan side. He will join the camp at the end of this month while the two Pakistan coaches have already left for the UAE.