Former Australia internationals Dean Jones and Tom Moody are the Pakistan Cricket Board’s preferred options to take over as coach of the national side, according to reports.
But it appears other coaching commitments may prevent Moody from taking on the role, paving the way for Jones’ appointment.
Pakistan legend Wasim Akram is on a panel engaged by the PCB to recommend Waqar Younis’ replacement and Akram is understood to have endorsed Jones.
“Basically the choice is down to former Australian allrounder, Tom Moody, and Jones, but Moody is already committed to other assignments, Wasim has conveyed to the board that Jones could be a good choice having worked with him with the Islamabad team and seen his temperament and skills.” a PCB source told the Press Trust of India.
Considered one of Australia’s finest limited-overs players and a veteran of 52 Tests, Jones coached Islamabad United to the inaugural Pakistan Super League T20 title in February.
He was involved in setting up the Masters Champions League, a T20 tournament featuring retired and semi-retired players that was played for the first time earlier this year, and the 55-year-old has worked in Asia as a television commentator.
Moody was coach of Sri Lanka between 2005 and the 2007 World Cup, where he led the island nation to the final, and has also coached Western Australia.
The 50-year-old is now Director of Cricket at the Melbourne Renegades in the KFC Big Bash League, head coach of Indian Premier League team Sunrisers Hyderabad and Director of International Cricket for the Caribbean Premier League. Those commitments appear to be a barrier to his appointment to the Pakistan job.
Another former Pakistan quick, Aaqib Javed, was also a short-listed candidate according to PTI but the PCB seems intent on finding a foreign coach following Waqar’s two-year stint in the role.
There were mixed results for the national side during the former fast bowler’s second tenure as coach of Pakistan.
Pakistan rose to No.2 in the ICC Test rankings last year after defeating England in the UAE in November and only lost a single Test series in Waqar’s second spell as coach. They recorded ‘home’ series wins in the UAE against Australia, as well as England, drew a series there against New Zealand and won in Bangladesh and Sri Lanka in 2015.
But that success was offset by poor showings in limited-overs matches. During the Asia Cup T20 tournament earlier this year, they lost to Bangladesh and missed the final, and were then eliminated at the group stage of the World T20.
Pakistan won just 15 of 40 ODIs with Waqar at the helm and lost to eventual winners Australia in the quarter-finals of last year’s World Cup.
The side will play three Tests in Australia next summer but their next assignment is a four-Test, five-ODI and one T20I tour of England, where Pakistan haven’t toured since 2010.
That tour, during Waqar’s first stint as Pakistan coach, was overshadowed by the Salman Butt, Mohammad Amir and Mohammad Asif spot-fixing scandal.
Amir, considered one of the most promising fast bowlers in the world, looks set to return to the country where he served a three-month prison sentence for his involvement in the controversy.
Dean Jones Familiarity with Pakistan
He was also chief coach of the Islamabad United team that won the inaugural Pakistan Super League in Dubai in February.
He worked with the Islamabad franchise alongside Akram. “Wasim has conveyed to the board that Jones could be a good choice having worked with him with the Islamabad team and seen his temperament and skills,” the source said.
Pakistan’s former Test pacer Aaqib Javed was also a strong candidate but the source said eventually there is a consensus in the board it would be best to try out a foreign coach after having seen the problems and issues that came during the two-year tenure of Younis.
He also said that the two stalwarts Mohsin and Iqbal Qasim had been drawn up for other important positions.
“Mohsin is keen to work as coach and turned down the chief selector’s job for this but the board believes he would be ideal as manager while Qasim can be entrusted to do a good job as chief selector as he has already held this position before,” the source said.