Pakistan appoints Misbah head coach, chief selector

In this file photo, Misbah-ul-Haq is carried by teammates as they celebrate winning the final test match and the series 2-1 against West Indies at the Windsor Park Stadium in Roseau, Dominica on May 14, 2017. (AFP)
Updated 04 September 2019

Pakistan appoints Misbah head coach, chief selector

  • Misbah will be head coach for three years
  • He was Pakistan's most successful Test captain with 26 wins in 56 Tests

LAHORE: Pakistan Wednesday appointed former captain Misbah-ul-Haq as head coach and chief selector in a bid to lift the national team's performance.
The cricket-mad nation failed to reach the semi-finals of the 2019 World Cup in July, prompting the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) not to renew head coach Mickey Arthur's tenure.
Bowling coach Azhar Mahmood and batting coach Grant Flower were also shown the door.
The PCB said Misbah will be head coach for three years.
"Former captain Misbah is confirmed as Pakistan men's national team head coach in all three formats on a three-year contract," said a statement.
"In line with the PCB's commitment to ensure transparency, accountability and role clarity at all levels, Misbah was also named as the chairman of selectors with head coaches of the six first-class cricket association sides as his fellow selectors."
Misbah will be Pakistan's 30th head coach -- but it is the first time that the head coach will also be the chief selector, along the lines of the system in New Zealand.
Another former captain, legendary paceman Waqar Younis, was named as bowling coach for three years. He had two previous stints as head coach.
A five-man PCB committee also interviewed former Australian batsman Dean Jones and former Pakistan coach Mohsin Khan before deciding unanimously in Misbah's favour.
Misbah and Younis will start with a three one-day internationals and three Twenty20s at home against Sri Lanka from September 27 to October 9.
Pakistan travel to Australia in November for Tests in Brisbane and Adelaide.
Misbah is Pakistan's most successful Test captain with 26 wins in 56 Tests and 11 draws.
He played 75 Tests, 162 one-day internationals and 39 Twenty20 matches for Pakistan in a career which ended in 2017.
Misbah described the role as challenging.
"I know expectations are high, but I am absolutely ready and up for the task otherwise I would not have thrown my name in the hat for one of the most challenging and coveted roles in Pakistan cricket," he said in a press release.
"We have some of the most talented and exciting cricketers, and I will like to help them train and prepare in such a way that they can play intelligently, smartly and fearlessly.
"I am aware this will require a change in the dressing room culture but if we have to compete consistently at the highest level, we have to embrace these modern day requirements."
Pakistan are seventh in Test rankings, sixth in ODIs but are top ranked in Twenty20s.


Pakistan gets lifeline till Feb 2021 as FATF continues to keep it on grey list

Updated 23 October 2020

Pakistan gets lifeline till Feb 2021 as FATF continues to keep it on grey list

  • The country has completed 21 out of 27 items of the global financial watchdog’s action plan, acknowledges FATF officials
  • The government of Pakistan has signaled the commitment to complete the rest of the action plan, says the FATF president

KARACHI: The global financial watchdog, the Financial Action Task Force (FATF), decided on Friday to keep Pakistan on its “grey list” while acknowledging that the country had made significant progress in meeting international anti-terrorism financing norms and should not be downgraded to the “blacklist.”

The FATF began its virtual plenary meeting on October 21 under the first two-year German presidency of Dr Marcus Pleyer.

“Pakistan will remain our increased monitoring list,” he announced after the end of the conference. “The plenary recognizes that Pakistan has made progress. The government has now completed 21 out of 27 items of its action plan. The government of Pakistan has signaled the commitment to complete the rest of its action plan.”

“Even though Pakistan has made progress it needs to do more,” he continued. “It cannot stop now and needs to carry out reforms in particular to implement targeted financial sanctions and prosecuting sanctions financing terrorism.”

Responding to a question, the FATF president said that onsite inspection would be carried out after the next plenary in February 2021 to decide about Pakistan’s exclusion from the grey list.

Pakistan was placed on the list of countries with inadequate controls over terrorism financing by the FATF in June 2018.

The Asia-Pacific Group on Money Laundering (APG), an inter-governmental organization in the Asia-Pacific region, issued the first Follow Up Report (FUR) on Pakistan last month.

The report reflected the country’s performance until February 2020 and noted that it had complied with only two recommendations related to financial institution secrecy laws and financial intelligence units out of 40 recommendations on the effectiveness of anti-money laundering and combating financing terror (AML/CFT) system.

However, Pakistan managed to pass three crucial FATF-related laws during a joint session of parliament in September this year. With these laws, the country managed to comply with most of the legislation required by the international watchdog to strength the country’s financial system.

The FATF “strongly” urged Pakistan in February this year to complete its full action plan by June 2020, warning it would take action against the country which could include advising financial institutions to give special attention to business relations and transactions with Pakistan. Later, the deadline was extended and the country was given time until October 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Pakistan also punished Hafiz Saeed, a Jamaat-ud-Dawa leader, in a terror financing case and decided to send him to prison for five and a half years.

Commenting on the FATF decision, financial experts said the decision to keep Pakistan on grey list owed to the government’s hasty legislation.

“The most vital issue relates to the roles assigned to the AML-CFT authority and self-regulatory bodies. These laws give powers to regulate AML-CFT to various government and professional bodies. They were not carefully drafted, create conflict of interest, and are complicated and ambiguous,” Dr Ikram ul Haq, a Lahore-based senior economist, said after the FATF decision.

The FATF blacklist have international pariah states like Iran and North Korea, and these countries are shunned by international financial institutions.