'Quite baffling': Backlash over Aussie cricket great's new role

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Seen here, Australia Test batting great Matthew Hayden.
Matthew Hayden has taken up a coaching role with the Pakistan national side ahead of the T20 World Cup. Pic: Getty

Pakistan Cricket's appointment of Aussie great Matthew Hayden and former South Africa star Vernon Philander has been met with mixed response from fans.

Hayden and Philander have both been recruited to Pakistan's backroom staff for the Twenty20 World Cup, with an official announcement about their appointment made on Monday.

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Pakistan Cricket Board's new chairman Ramiz Raja shared the exciting news with fans, insisting that the pair can help his side win the World Cup.

"Hayden is Australian, I feel he can bring some aggression into the team. He has World Cup experience, he was a world-class player," Raja told reporters.

"An Australian occupying the dressing room will have a lot of benefits.

"This Pakistan team can win the World Cup, it just needs an improvement of 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.”

Pictured here,Vernon Philander readies to bowl in the 2nd Test against England at Newlands in 2020.
South Africa's Vernon Philander retired from Test cricket in 2020. Pic: Getty

A void in Pakistan coaching set-up was created last week after head coach Misbah-ul-Haq and bowling mentor Waqar Younis stepped down.

Abdul Razzaq and Saqlain Mushtaq will be interim coaches for a series against New Zealand.

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.

While the appointment of Hayden and Philander was welcomed by many Pakistan cricket fans, the fact that they have no substantial prior coaching experience is a concern for some.

Cricket journalist Prasenjit Dey described Pakistan's decision to appoint the pair “quite baffling”.

“Just because someone was a good player doesn’t mean he can be an equally good coach,” Dey tweeted.

While some shared Dey's concern about their lack of coaching experience, others applauded Pakistan for thinking outside the box and appointing two men with immense knowledge and track record of success in cricket.

Matthew Hayden's lack of coaching experience

Hayden was one of the most destructive openers of his era, forming a formidable partnership with Justin Langer, the coach of the Australian side since 2018.

Besides playing 103 Tests and 161 ODIs, Hayden also figured in nine T20Is and was a member of Australia's World Cup squad in 2007.

Hayden has worked mostly in the media since retiring in 2009 and he will follow Geoff Lawson and Dav Whatmore as Australians who have been part of the Pakistan coaching scene.

Philander retired from international cricket in 2020.

Matthew Hayden, pictured here speaking to the media at an Australian Cricket Hall of Fame induction ceremony.
Matthew Hayden speaks to the media at an Australian Cricket Hall of Fame induction ceremony. (Photo by Brett Hemmings - CA/Cricket Australia via Getty Images/Getty Images)

Pakistan open their T20 World Cup campaign in the UAE against India on October 24.

Babar Azam, ranked second behind England's Dawid Malan in world T20I batting rankings, will captain the Pakistan team.

Raja, who played more than 250 international matches for Pakistan from 1984 to 1997, replaces Ehsan Mani who stepped down from his role last month.

After his retirement, Raja became a cricket commentator. while the 59-year-old served as the PCB chief executive from 2003 to 2004.

with agencies

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