Pakistan board's U-turn December 31, 2006

Mushtaq reappointed as assistant coach

Mushtaq Ahmed returns to the Pakistan coaching staff © Getty Images

Less than three months after sacking him, Nasim Ashraf, chairman of the Pakistan board, has reappointed Mushtaq Ahmed, the former Pakistan legspinner, as assistant coach for the tour to South Africa, set to begin from January 2.

Mushtaq had been removed from the post hours before the Pakistan team left for the Champions Trophy in October, one of Ashraf's first moves upon taking over the chairmanship of the board. At the time, he was deemed as "irrelevant staff" by Ashraf, though speculation centred around a combination of his close friendship with Inzamam-ul-Haq and his implication in Justice Qayyum's report on match-fixing.

But at a press conference in Lahore, Ashraf said Mushtaq was capable of serving the team. "Mushtaq has impressed me a lot with his cricketing knowledge and I think he can be a better choice for the South African tour," he said. Mushtaq is expected to remain with the team through the whole tour, while Waqar Younis, the bowling coach, will return home after the Tests.

Osman Samiuddin is Pakistan editor of Cricinfo