Rahman vows to get the best out of young squad

Our Correspondent
Wednesday, Mar 22, 2023

LAHORE: The head coach for the upcoming series against Afghanistan Abdur Rehman has vowed to get the best out of the young Pakistan team.

He stated that he feels honored to coach the Pakistan national team and added that they would give more chances to the youngsters in the absence of top players.

He was addressing a press conference here on Tuesday. He said, “It is an honour for me to be head coach of Pakistan for series and I would try my best to help Pakistan win.”

Led by Shadab Khan, Pakistan's squad contains mostly inexperienced players. The Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) has given rest to captain Babar Azam, Shaheen Shah Afridi, Mohammad Rizwan, Haris Rauf, and Fakhar Zaman.

He added that Afghanistan’s main players like Rashid Khan, Mujeeb ur Rehman, Najibullah Zadran, Rahmanullah Gurbaz, Naveen-ul-Haq played Pakistan Super League (PSL) recently and Pakistan’s players know them well.

Rehman also said that Shadab and Naseem Shah are experienced and would be trump cards for the team.

Rahman, who was coach of Multan Sultans in the PSL, said even though their highest wicket taker Abbas Afridi was not selected he hoped that the fast bowler would represent Pakistan soon if he kept working hard.

Rehman acknowledged that Afghanistan has good spin attack, which could be dangerous in Sharjah, their adopted home ground, but Pakistan’s batting line up is in form.

Rehman alongside Umar Gul (bowling coach) and Mohammad Yousaf (batting coach) was named in the interim coaching panel.

“I have come from coaching at grassroots. International cricket is a whole different game but there is no problem for me,” said Rehman.

“I have been given a very young squad. I am excited to coach this young squad and looking forward to their performances. Every player is a trump card for us,” he added.

Rehman thinks Afghanistan players will have an idea of Pakistani players as they played in PSL 8.

“They [Afghanistan] will have an edge as they played with and against our players during PSL 8. Their bowlers will have an idea of our batters,” he said.

“My focus is to keep players on their strength. I will try to utilise my experience and field a strong team in the ground. We have our bases covered,” he added.

SQUAD: Shadab Khan (C), Abdullah Shafique, Azam Khan, Faheem Ashraf, Iftikhar Ahmed, Ihsanullah, Imad Wasim, Mohammad Haris (wk), Mohammad Nawaz, Mohammad Wasim Jnr, Naseem Shah, Saim Ayub, Shan Masood, Tayyab Tahir, Zaman Khan.