Ex-Pakistan all-rounder Mahmood "would love" UAE coaching job

Denzil Pinto 09:30 15/05/2016
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Azhar has previously coached youngsters in the UAE.

The ECB are on the quest for a successor to Aaqib Javed, who will end his four-year stay on May 31.

And Dubai Cricket Council (DCC) vice-chairman and ECB ex-chief selector, Mohammed Redha Abbas feels Mahmood, 41, is the ideal replacement but is not sure whether he would be considered.

“Mahmood is a British Pakistani so that’s why I recommended his name to [DCC chairman] Abdul Rahman Falaknaz and he knows [ECB member] Khalid Al Zarooni. I don’t know who will be employed because I’m no longer with the Emirates Cricket Board,” he said.

“I have seen Mahmood play and he is a good all-rounder. He is 41-years-old and that’s why I suggested his name. Some of our boys do not understand English. But Mahmood can speak Urdu and Punjabi, while Urdu and Hindi is very similar. Overall, he’s an excellent all-rounder with lots of experience and a very good cricketer.”

Mahmood is no stranger to the UAE set-up. Last year, he spent time with Javed’s troops at the ICC Academy, where he held his junior coaching camps.

Speaking to Sport360 from England, Mahmood, who played 21 Tests and 143 ODIs for Pakistan during his 10-year spell, revealed he did not apply for the vacancy, but insists it would be an honour to coach the UAE.

Azhar factfile

  • Tests: 21, Runs: 900, Average: 30.00, 100s: 3, 50s: 1
  • Wickets: 39, Average: 35.94
  • ODIs: 143, Runs: 1,521, Average: 18.10, 50s: 3
  • Wickets: 123, Average: 39.13, 5WI: 3

“This is a transitional period for me from playing to actually being a coach. This is a new challenge but I would love to take it,” said the Surrey T20 player-coach, who has represented teams in the shortest format in India, Bangladesh, Australia, New Zealand and West Indies.

“If the opportunity did come to me, I would like to take this further and see the UAE participate in all the tournaments.

“I definitely feel honoured (that his name has been suggested) and I want to pass on my knowledge. Most of the UAE guys are from the sub-continent and under Aaqib they concentrated more on the bowling. But if I was to come in, as an all-rounder and having played cricket around the world, I can pass on my experience.”

Mahmood is no stranger to coaching in the international game. He was Pakistan’s bowling coach during this year’s Asia Cup and World Twenty20.

ECB chief David East was tight-lipped whether Mahmood is in the running, but said the response to the vacancy was very encouraging.

“We are going through a process but it would be totally inappropriate to make a comment [on Mahmood],” he said.

“We’ve had dozens of applications that we’re looking at and it’s been a very good response. We had a good cross-section of applications from around the world so it’s a very impressive field.

“We’ll be looking to shortlist the candidates very soon.”

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