ISLAMABAD: Former New Zealand coach and cricketer, Grant Bradburn, has been appointed the head coach of the Pakistan men’s cricket team, the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) said on Saturday, following a robust recruitment process.
Bradburn is well-versed about the strengths and challenges of the national side having previously served as the fielding coach of the national men’s side from 2018 till 2020 before he moved to the National Cricket Academy to work on coaches’ development.
He served as the head coach of the Pakistan side during the recently concluded home series against New Zealand on a consultancy basis. The Babar Azam-led side defeated the tourists 4-1 in the five-match One-Day International (ODI) series that took them to the top of the ICC Rankings in the format. The five-match T20 International series was shared 2-2.
Bradburn will lead the coaching panel of the Pakistan side for the next two years, the PCB said. Prior to his roles in Pakistan, Bradburn, a former New Zealand cricketer, worked as the head coach of Scotland men’s side.
“I am delighted to name Grant Bradburn as the head coach of our men’s side. After having worked with our men’s side before and at the National Cricket Academy, he understands our culture and philosophy of cricket well and is an ideal candidate to take our team forward,” said Najam Sethi, the PCB management committee chairperson.
“After the announcement of Mickey Arthur as team director, Bradburn’s appointment is another step in our endeavours of putting together a highly qualified coaching panel so our players can benefit from their experiences and dominate world cricket in all three formats.”
With an eye on the prestigious International Cricket Council (ICC) World Cup 2023 trophy, the Pakistan team management has also unveiled a playing style with which it will approach the tournament to be played in October and November. The style branded as ‘The Pakistan Way’ will see the team approach the One-Day Internationals (ODIs) in the build-up and during the mega-event with positive and bold tactics and attacking strategies, according to the PCB.
Pakistan are scheduled to feature in a three-match ODI series against Afghanistan before the 50-over ACC Asia Cup and the national side will use these opportunities to test their potential, experiment with the bench strength and fine-tune the side ahead of the global event.
“It is a great honor for me to work with the highly talented and skillful side like Pakistan as a head coach. We have been working hard on our raising our game and are eager to showcase our growing skills. Mickey Arthur and I are excited to support, challenge and develop our players. The New Zealand series has been valuable to get game time and create clarity of roles, culture and brand to win,” Bradburn said, reflecting on his appointment as the head coach.
“We have raised the bar of expectation and we will keep challenging our players. The process has started and our players are agreeing to take these challenges head-on. ODI cricket has evolved and our agreed expectations are aligned to being the best in the world. We have mutually agreed with our players they are capable of higher team scores, even when setting totals. There has been immediate positive signs during this series and this group of players is determined to continually improve, to put ourselves into contention to win major events.”
Team Director Mickey Arthur said if a team won without a culture, without a brand or without a style, it might work for a short period but would eventually fall.
“So how do we achieve The Pakistan Way? We achieve this by winning while having our own culture, our own brand of cricket and our own style. We will not be satisfied with wins without that culture in the team,” he said.
“Pakistan as a nation is proud of its identity, culture and style. I love Pakistan and Pakistan cricket; I want to leave behind a legacy as a director where the rest of the world says we want to play The Pakistan Way.”
To achieve the on-field success, the PCB said, the team management would emphasize on the importance of building a culture where a player’s success was enjoyed by everyone and creating an inclusive environment where anyone could speak up at any time and everyone is treated equally, eventually resulting in achieving collective goals.
Former South Africa cricketer Andrew Puttick has also signed a two-year contract as the batting coach of the men’s side, according to the PCB. Strength and conditioning coach Drikus Saaiman and physiotherapist Cliffe Deacon will continue to work in their roles.
Appointments on other positions will be announced in due course, the board added.