Umar Farooq is ESPNcricinfo's Pakistan correspondent
Former Pakistan internationals Mohammad Yousuf and Mohammad Zahid have been appointed to the High Performance centre as batting and bowling coaches respectively.
Yousuf had a successful playing career for Pakistan, making 9720 runs in ODIs and 7530 runs in Tests, and now his shift to coaching has become a major talking point in the country. This will be his first coaching assignment after he had retired from international cricket in 2010.
"My ambitions in making a career in coaching are an open secret but it was all about the timing and a proper roadmap for our future cricket in which I could contribute effectively," he said. "I believe this is the right time for me to start my second innings as I can sense the intent and optimism in the approach. I am delighted to have been offered this opportunity and I firmly believe I can help young cricketers by transferring my knowledge and experience, which I have acquired after being part of one of the brightest and formidable eras of Pakistan cricket."
The PCB also made substantial changes to the domestic set-up, with as many as 16 coaches losing their jobs, including Azam Khan, Arshad Khan, Ijaz Ahmed Jnr, and Kabir Khan.
Abdul Razzaq will replace Kabir at Khyber Pakhtunkhwa while Basit Ali, the former SNGPL coach, takes over the reins from Azam at Sindh. Faisal Iqbal will coach Balochistan while Shahid Anwar will be in charge of Central Punjab. Both Abdur Rehman (Southern Punjab) and Mohammad Wasim (Northern) were retained. All six domestic coaches will also act as national selection committee members to assist Pakistan coach-cum-chief selector Misbah-ul-Haq.
"I want to thank all the outgoing coaches for their contributions and urge them to remain involved with this great game as the PCB is optimistic there will be future opportunities in the game, both as coaches and consultants," Nadeem Khan, PCB's director of High Performance, said in a statement.
"When the PCB had launched the revamped domestic structure last year on 29th August, it had announced it was an evolving process and changes will be made to further strengthen the structure. Due to paucity of time last season, the coaches couldn't be appointed through a review, analysis and recruitment process, which we have corrected this year."
Razzaq's appointment, in particular, has raised a few eyebrows as the only coaching experience the former allrounder has is a short stint with Quetta Gladiators in the PSL a few seasons ago. Iqbal, the new Balochistan coach, has had two stints with Karachi Kings in the PSL. Atiq-uz-Zaman, who had been rejected by the PCB less than a year ago for an Under-19 role, has now been appointed fielding and wicketkeeping coach at the High Performance centre.
Atiq will assist Yousuf and Zahid and Mushtaq Ahmed, who is currently on tour in the UK with the national team as their spin-bowling coach, at the High Performance centre. Abdul Majeed and Mansoor Rana, who had been part of the High Performance centre, are now the fielding coach and team manager respectively of the Pakistan national side.
The new changes will be effective from the upcoming season as the PCB made a decision in principle last month to start domestic cricket this year in a biosecure environment, in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic. The season is likely to start next month with the national T20 Cup. Quaid-e-Azam Trophy, the premier domestic tournament, is likely to played entirely in Karachi. There will be a 40-man squad for each of the six association teams this year due to concerns around the pandemic. All teams for each association will be re-selected by the newly appointed coaches through a draft process later this month.