Former Australian Test opening batter Matthew Hayden has secured an unexpected appointment ahead of the T20 World Cup.
Australian cricket great Matthew Hayden has secured an unexpected coaching gig ahead of the Men’s T20 World Cup in the United Arab Emirates.
Speaking at a press conference on Monday, recently-elected Pakistan Cricket Board chairman Ramiz Raja announced that Hayden and former South Africa seamer Vernon Philander had been added to the Pakistan coaching staff for the upcoming T20 tournament.
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“Matthew Hayden is Australian, and has experience of winning World Cups and was a great player himself,” Ramiz said.
“It might be very beneficial to have an Australian occupying the dressing room. And Pakistan, of course, can win the World Cup, they just need to improve their performances an extra 10 per cent.
“Vernon Philander I know very well, and he understands bowling, and has a great record against Australia.
“Going forward, we will have to carry out an extensive exercise in this regard in order to look for people who fit our model.
“Our objective is to give this team the best possible options so that it leads to improvement in performances.”
Raja confirmed a head coach had also been appointed, but declined to identify who.
The announcement comes one week after Pakistan head coach Misbah-ul-Haq and bowling mentor Waqar Younis resigned with one year remaining on their contracts.
Reaction to the news was mixed, primarily because Hayden and Philander don’t have any substantive prior coaching experience.
Cricket journalist Prasenjit Dey called the appointments “quit baffling”.
“Just because someone was a good player doesn’t mean he can be an equally good coach,” Dey tweeted.
Hayden played nine T20 internationals for Australia, scoring 308 runs at an impressive average of 51.33.
The Queenslander represented the Chennai Super Kings in the Indian Premier League from 2008 to 2010 and played for the Brisbane Heat in the inaugural Big Bash League.
He also featured in two of Australia’s famous World Cups triumphs – in 2003 and 2007.
Philander played 123 T20 matches before announcing his retirement in late 2019, claiming 92 wickets in the game’s shortest format.
Pakistan’s T20 World Cup campaign gets underway at 1am AEDT on Monday, October 25 with a highly-anticipated contest against India.