Former Pakistani cricketer Azhar Mahmood has no qualms about coaching England during the ongoing Twenty20 series, saying he is happy to “pass on my experience” regardless of nationality. Mahmood, 45, has played in 164 caps for Pakistan and was their bowling coach under Mickey Arthur before a new regime was installed last year after a disappointing World Cup led by former captain Misbah-ul-Haq. Now Mahmood, who knows much of the England coaching staff from his time in county cricket, has been hired by the hosts as a bowling consultant for the three-match T20 series in Manchester.
“Cricket has given me a lot,” Mahmood told AFP in a telephone interview on Saturday. “Now I want to pass on my experience – it doesn’t matter if a player is from England or Pakistan or wherever.”
Mahmood, who has been criticized in Pakistan for his role in England, said his situation was no different from that in which he often found himself as a much sought-after all-rounder.
“I am a professional, I have played in competitions with different teams,” he explained. “I know my role.”
England head coach Chris Silverwood has handed over the reins for the series to assistant Graham Thorpe, a former England batsman who played with Mahmood in Surrey.
Another England connection is with white ball captain Eoin Morgan – he was with Mahmood when the former Pakistani international coached Karachi in the Pakistan Super League.
“They have seen how I can work with players,” said Mahmood. “Eoin Morgan told me ‘we know your skills’. They really are a great group of people, the English coaching staff, and this is a great opportunity for me.”
With 50-over world champions England so far retaining separate red and white ball teams in a season compressed by the coronavirus outbreak, they don’t have frontline bowlers like Chris Woakes and Jofra Archer for the Pakistani T20s.
That means more opportunities for young pacemen, including Saqib Mahmood and Tom Curran, although they did not bowl during the weather-shortened match at Old Trafford, which ended without result.
Mahmood, a BBC television analyst during Pakistan’s 1-0 loss to England on a test series earlier this month, believes it is his experience working with juvenile quicks, as well as all the insider information, that has led England to kick him out. invite to join. their purpose.
‘Raised in my hands’
“Wahab Riaz, Mohammad Amir and now Shaheen Shah Afridi – they all grew up in my hands,” said Mahmood of his role in the development of three pacemen that are all part of Pakistan’s T20 squad.
“They (England) have seen my ability.”
Mahmood said he was particularly proud of the role he played in helping Pakistan win the 2017 Champions Trophy and a nine wicket victory over England in the first Test at Lord’s the following year.
“I was happy to help them win the Champions Trophy and that Test at Lord’s with a young attack – we achieved a lot in a short time,” he recalls.
South African coach Arthur, now in charge of Sri Lanka, said he was disappointed with the way his three-year stint in the lead ended after New Zealand brought Pakistan to a final four spot at last year’s World Cup on net. run-rate.
But Mahmood knew what was to come.
“I was not sad,” he said. “The PCB (Pakistan Cricket Board) asked me to extend my contract until the World Cup.
“When we didn’t make it to the semifinals, I knew from my own experience as a player at the 2003 World Cup that if you didn’t win something, or at least reach the knockout stage, someone would go – be it players or coaches. So it is in Pakistan. “
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