Saqlain set to lose head coach role; Pakistan identify replacement
Pakistan head coach Saqlain Mushtaq is set to be fired by the country's cricket board after the team's sustained bad performances at home, peaking with an embarrassing 3-0 Test series whitewash at the hands of England.
The Test series against New Zealand could be Saqlain's last at the helm of Pakistan's coaching staff as PCB look to revive the fortunes of the national team under a new regime led by comeback chief Najam Sethi.
Sethi confirmed to the press that Saqlain's days as head coach are numbered after informing that the board is in talks with the team's ex-head coach Mickey Arthur for his potential return to the job.
It was Sethi that played a decisive role in bringing Arthur on board back in 2016. In his three-year term, the South African was lauded for an improvement in Pakistan's fitness and fielding standards, which reflected on the field when they clinched the 2017 Champions Trophy in UK and fell one win short of making the 2019 World Cup semis. In between, Arthur guided Pakistan to numero uno ranking status in Tests and T20Is, albeit briefly.
Saqlain's days numbered, PCB eyeing return of Mickey Arthur
A passionate, hands-on coach Arthur was controversially sacked by PCB when a cricket committee appointed by the board following Sethi's departure deemed it fit to remove him from the post.
Notably, it was the member of the committee Misbah-ul-Haq, who then took over from Arthur as the team's head coach and stayed on board until the tour of West Indies last year.
From there on, Arthur moved on to a coaching gig with Sri Lanka and is currently involved with English County Championship club Derbyshire. If requested to come back, however, the experienced coach is likely to be more than willing to get on board again and revive Pakistan's fortunes, considering his repute with Sethi and friendly bond with various Pakistani players.
As for Saqlain, the PCB seems to have had enough after a period where they lost home Test series to Australia and England, and conceded fortunes-denting World Test Championship (WTC) fixtures to West Indies and Sri Lanka. Pakistan also failed to cross the knock-outs hurdle at the successive T20 World Cups and the Asia Cup 2022.