NZ vs Pak T20I series – Yasir Arafat named Pakistan’s high-performance coach for New Zealand T20Is


There’s been another change in the Pakistan coaching set-up, with Yasir Arafat joining the crew for the side’s five-match T20I series in New Zealand. Arafat has been appointed high-performance coach, and will replace the current man in the role, Simon Helmot.

ESPNcricinfo understands it was a relatively late decision on the part of the PCB, and Arafat will fly directly to New Zealand with Pakistan’s T20I specialists. It is understood that he has been assigned to the national side for just that one series for the moment. Helmot had been named as part of the coaching staff for the ongoing Australia series, but according to a PCB source, he has personal commitments.

This marks yet another change since Mohammad Hafeez was given the role of team director and head coach for Pakistan’s tour of Australia, replacing Mickey Arthur and Grant Bradburn. Arthur and Bradburn are still on the PCB’s books, but did not travel to Australia, and have not yet been assigned elsewhere.

Following Hafeez’s appointment, Umar Gul was announced as the fast-bowling coach, Saeed Ajmal as the spin-bowling coach, Adam Hollioake as the batting coach, and Helmot the high-performance coach. All of those appointments needed to be short-term because of circumstances – this is an interim PCB set-up and formal elections have not yet been held; it lacks the constitutional ability to make long-term appointments.

Arafat, who has previous coaching experience in New Zealand as well as in England, played 27 international matches, including 13 T20Is, and was a part of Pakistan’s victorious 2009 T20 World Cup squad, though he played just one game in the tournament.

The T20I series against New Zealand begins on January 12, with the final game on January 21.

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