Pakistan news April 30, 2013

Trent Woodhill appointed Pakistan batting coach

Pakistan have appointed the Australian Trent Woodhill as their batting coach for the Champions Trophy. He will join the squad directly in England and will be on probation for three weeks with the national side in June.

Woodhill, 42, is currently part of the support staff with Delhi Daredevils in the ongoing IPL. He was New Zealand's assistant coach till last year and has also been involved with Melbourne Stars in the Big Bash League in Australia.

"He was offered a short-term role as batting coach and he has accepted it," Intikhab Alam, PCB Director international cricket, told reporters. "His services will be on trial and if the management is happy with his work his contract will be extended."

The decision to appoint Woodhill followed serious concerns over Pakistan's fragile batting, which flopped during their 3-0 rout in the Tests in South Africa earlier this year. The team also lost the five-match one-day series 3-2. Pakistan had been hunting for a batting coach for the last year and a half but never settled on one candidate.

In response to a PCB advertisement last year, several former players, including Zaheer Abbas and Saleem Malik, applied for the role but the PCB had insisted on hiring a candidate with at least a Level 3 coaching accreditation and a minimum of five years' experience working with top cricketers. Pakistan appointed the former captain Inzamam-ul Haq ahead of the India tour last year but he wasn't retained.

"He (Woodhill) was preferred over the former players in our country only because of his qualification," Alam said. "These days, coaching qualifications have become very necessary. He is an experienced coach and has worked with various teams, but if the experiment goes wrong, it's a three-week contract, not a lengthy one."

Umar Farooq is ESPNcricinfo's Pakistan correspondent. He tweets here

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