Mushtaq Ahmed named Pakistan bowling consultant
Mushtaq Ahmed, the former legspinner, has been named Pakistan's bowling consultant. His appointment was made on the recommendation of the PCB's coach selection committee and approved by newly-appointed head coach, Waqar Younis, the Pakistan board said in a release. Mushtaq has been appointed with immediate effect and his contract will extend until May 2016.
Since 2008, Mushtaq had worked as a spin-bowling coach with England and was recently released by the ECB, which is likely to bring in Peter Such as a replacement. This is Mushtaq's second stint with Pakistan - he had earlier served as bowling consultant during home series against England and India between 2005 and 2006.
The PCB said former offspinner Saqlain Mushtaq was also short-listed for the job, but lost out to Mushtaq.
Mushtaq was one of the players implicated in the Justice Qayyum commission report in 2000, after which he was fined Rs. 3 lakh. The commission had recommended that Mushtaq be censured, kept under close watch and not be given any office of responsibility [selection or captaincy] in the team or on the board.
His appointment, despite a six-year association with the ECB, is being seen as controversial due to the report. However, his fairly successful stint with England - in an era when Graeme Swann rose to prominence - has meant that the PCB is willing to take him on despite the criticism.
"There is no concern shown by PCB at all and I am excited to work with my own country," Mushtaq told ESPNcricinfo. "I always wanted to work with Pakistan and if a country like England can support me, then why not my own country. England is a country that is very sensitive [about match-fixing] and they had utilised my services, then how come the critics in Pakistan are raising a finger on me.
"I have a contract according to which I will be working at the NCA, on the development of the upcoming spinners, apart from the national role. Obviously, the present lot [of bowlers] in Pakistan is established but I am aiming to carry on the momentum, which is important in the longer run."
Mushtaq, last played for Pakistan in 2003 but extended his county career and retired from first-class cricket in 2008. In 2003 he became the first bowler in five years to take 100 wickets in the English season. He played 52 Tests and 144 ODIs, taking 185 Test wickets and 161 one-day wickets in 14-year international career.
Umar Farooq is ESPNcricinfo's Pakistan correspondent. @kalson