This appointment marks a change in the coaching setup, with Arafat replacing Simon Helmot, who had to leave due to personal commitments.
The Context of the Appointment
The Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) made a relatively late decision regarding this appointment.
Arafat, who possesses coaching experience in New Zealand and England, will join the team directly in New Zealand along with Pakistan’s T20I specialists.
This assignment is currently limited to just the one series against New Zealand.
Recent Changes in Pakistan’s Coaching Staff
This change is part of a series of alterations in the coaching staff following Mohammad Hafeez’s appointment as team director and head coach for Pakistan’s tour of Australia.
Hafeez replaced Mickey Arthur and Grant Bradburn, although both Arthur and Bradburn remain on the PCB’s payroll without current assignments.
The Interim Nature of Current Appointments
The PCB, in its current interim setup pending formal elections, has made several short-term coaching appointments due to its limited constitutional ability to make long-term decisions.
This includes Umar Gul as the fast-bowling coach, Saeed Ajmal as the spin-bowling coach, Adam Hollioake as the batting coach, and previously Helmot as the high-performance coach.
Yasir Arafat’s Background and Experience
Yasir Arafat, a former international cricketer, played 27 international matches for Pakistan, including 13 T20Is.
He was part of the victorious 2009 T20 World Cup squad. His coaching credentials are bolstered by his experience in New Zealand and England, making him a valuable asset for the team in familiar conditions.
The Upcoming T20I Series
The T20I series against New Zealand is scheduled to begin on January 12, with the final game on January 21.
This series presents a crucial opportunity for Pakistan to test their team dynamics under the new coaching setup and Arafat’s guidance.
Conclusion: A Strategic Move with Potential Impact
Yasir Arafat’s appointment as the high-performance coach for the New Zealand T20Is is a strategic decision by the PCB.
His experience and familiarity with conditions in New Zealand could prove beneficial for the Pakistan team.
As the series approaches, it will be interesting to see how this change influences the team’s performance and dynamics.