The Pakistan Cricket Board has today confirmed Jason Gillespie as the red-ball head coach and Gary Kirsten as the white-ball head coach of the Pakistan men’s cricket team. Azhar Mahmood has also been confirmed as an assistant coach across all formats.

The three appointments have been made for a two-year period following a recruitment process.

Kirsten will take charge of the side immediately after completing his assignment in the Indian Premier League. During his tenure, besides the upcoming ICC Men’s T20 World Cup 2024 and other bilateral white-ball series, Kirsten will also be in charge of the side for next year’s ICC Champions Trophy 2025 in Pakistan, ACC T20 Asia Cup 2025 and the ICC Men’s T20 World Cup 2026 in India and Sri Lanka.

Gillespie will assume responsibilities for the ICC World Test Championship fixtures against Bangladesh (at home in August), which will be followed by Tests against England (at home in October) and South Africa (away in December) in the 2024-25 season.

PCB Chairman Mohsin Naqvi:

“I extend my congratulations to Jason Gillespie and Gary Kirsten on their appointments as the red and white-ball head coaches of the Pakistan men’s cricket team, respectively. Their stellar track records precede them, and I warmly welcome them to the Pakistan cricket family.

“Jason’s coaching career has been marked by success both at the domestic and international levels, with a focus on player development and achieving excellence in team performance. Gary’s coaching career has been marked by his ability to instill a winning mentality, develop young talent, and achieve success at the highest levels of the game, making him one of the most respected and sought-after coaches in cricket.

“In this background, I have every confidence that their expertise will guide our players to reach new heights, aligning with their inherent talent and the expectations of our passionate fans. These high-quality appointments also present a remarkable opportunity for our players to glean insights from these seasoned professionals, refining their skills and fortifying their cricketing acumen.

“The PCB is unwavering in its commitment to furnish the national team with top-tier resources and facilities, fostering an environment conducive to unlocking their full potential and consistently delivering stellar performances.”

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Jason Gillespie:

“I am grateful to the PCB for their faith in my abilities and giving me the honour of coaching one of the most highly-regarded and talented cricket teams in the traditional format of the sport. Leading the Pakistan cricket team is a big achievement for any coach, given its rich legacy and passionate fan base.

“I love Test cricket and being able to focus on that is something I like very much. I also love the fact that there is so much talent in Pakistan. I like to think that I can help in some way to grow and develop the players. I want to win Tests – that is why I am taking this role. I love winning and I know we have got the skill to make that happen.

“The ICC World Test Championship is the ultimate in the Test format. I understand this cycle is likely to prove too great a task as we would need to win a lot of matches in a short space of time to have any chance of making the final, but aspiring to be in that final, and to winning it, has to be a medium- to long-term goal for us.

“Ultimately, it is all about playing the style of cricket we want to play, one that helps us win matches, excites the public and puts smiles on the faces of everyone connected with Pakistan cricket.

“Within Pakistan we have a number of high-quality fast bowlers and being able to utilise them will be a key part of any success we enjoy. But we have quality in all departments – pace, spin, batting and keeping. We have all bases covered. It is exciting to know we have that talent and I am looking forward to working with such talented players.

“I understand there will be expectation and that comes with the role. All I can do is to take it in my stride and I would not have taken on the job if I did not think I could deal with it.”

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Gary Kirsten:

“It’s a tremendous honour to be entrusted with the responsibility of coaching the Pakistan men’s national team in white-ball cricket and to rejoin the international cricket arena after some time. I eagerly anticipate this opportunity and aim to contribute positively to the Pakistan men’s national team in limited-overs cricket.

“One of the beautiful aspects of cricket is its universality. Across cultures, there’s a shared understanding when we discuss the game. My goal is to unite the Pakistan men’s white-ball team, harnessing their considerable talents towards a common objective, and achieving success together on the field.

“My perspective on Pakistan cricket has remained consistent over time. There’s always an inherent expectation for the team to perform at a high level consistently. However, in team sports, maintaining peak performance is not always guaranteed. As a coach, it’s immensely gratifying to assist players in unlocking their full potential. I eagerly anticipate collaborating with the individual players and the team, facilitating their growth and development.

“For cricket enthusiasts globally, Pakistan players are a familiar sight, showcasing their skills across various platforms. It’s truly a joy to watch them play the game.

“Understanding the current state of the team and charting a path towards our desired goals is paramount. Winning ICC Events, while challenging, remains a significant objective. Whether it’s the upcoming tournament in June or events in the future, achieving success in these competitions would be a remarkable feat.

“My primary objective is to ensure the team operates at its optimal level. Success on the field is contingent upon the team performing at its best. Consistency and continuity are values I hold dear. While player form fluctuations are inevitable, maintaining a stable environment is crucial. I am committed to supporting players through their ups and downs, prioritising continuity in selections whenever possible.”

About Jason Gillespie:

– The 49-year-old former Australia fast bowler played 71 Tests, 97 ODIs and 1 T20I from 1996-2006, taking a total of 402 wickets and accumulating 1,531 runs. His best bowling figures in an innings were seven for 37 against England at Headingley in July 1997, while his Test best score was against Bangladesh in Chattogram in April 2006 when he scored 201 not out

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– In four Tests against Pakistan, he took 10 wickets; in 13 ODIs, he took 21 wickets

– Was part of the Australia squad that won the ICC Men’s Cricket World Cup 2003 in South Africa

– Is an ECB accredited Level 4 coach, having completed the two-year course from the University of Gloucestershire

– Coached Yorkshire County Cricket Club to back-to-back County Championship titles in 2014 and 2015

– Is credited with the development of England stars Jonny Bairstow, Gary Ballance and Joe Root during his time with Yorkshire

– Also coached Adelaide Strikers from 2015-2024, guiding the side to the BBL title in the 2017-18 season; Sussex from 2018-2020 and South Australia from 2020-2024

– Coached in Zimbabwe from 2010-2012, also served for two months as the interim head coach of the Papua New Guinea national cricket team in 2017, where he helped the side prepare for the ICC T20 World Cup Qualifier

About Gary Kirsten:

– The 56-year-old former South Africa top-order batter played 101 Tests and 185 ODIs from 1993-2004 in which he accumulated a total of 14,087 runs with 34 centuries

– In 11 Tests against Pakistan, he scored 838 runs at 55.86; in 24 ODIs, he scored 1,054 runs at 55.47

– Was a member of the South Africa side that won the ICC Knock-Out Trophy 1998 (now known as ICC Champions Trophy); played in three ICC Men’s Cricket World Cups from 1996 to 2003

– Coached India from 2008-2011 and helped them to the ICC Men’s Cricket World Cup 2011 title as well as No.1 position on the ICC Test Team Rankings

– Coached South Africa men’s cricket team from 2011-2013 and inspired them to No.1 position on the ICC Test Team Rankings

– Coached the Delhi Daredevils (now Delhi Capitals) and Royal Challengers Bengaluru

– Presently batting coach and mentor of Gujarat Titans, who won the 2022 Indian Premier League