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Pakistan Cricket Board In Talks To Hire Former Mumbai Indians Star As Head Coach

The Pakistan Cricket Board has narrowed down its search for a new head coach to former Australia and New Zealand wicketkeeper-batter Luke Ronchi. A PCB source said on Wednesday that “extensive discussions” had taken place with the 42-year-old Ronchi, who has also coached Pakistan Super League side Islamabad United. “With no high-profile coach showing interest in working for the PCB as most of them are already committed with different leagues or have reservations working in Pakistan cricket, the search has come down to Ronchi,” the source said.

He said the contract with Ronchi should be finalised in the next few days before the home T20 series against New Zealand commences.

Ronchi, after taking retirement from professional cricket, has also worked with the New Zealand team as its batting consultant and coach.

The source added that the PCB team had contacted some well-known coaches but most of them were either already committed or reluctant to accept any assignment with the Pakistan board.

“Given the history of the PCB in dealing with foreign and local coaches, obviously one can understand the reservations of some foreign coaches,” he said.

The source said that even Ronchi had not said yes as yet and had asked for an ironclad assurance that he would be given a proper time frame to work with the Pakistan team over a period of time no matter what the results are.

“He wants clear assurances that his performance will only be evaluated after a certain period of time, not after every series or event,” the source said.

PCB chief Mohsin Naqvi had last week blamed the leakage of salary details and other aspects of a possible coaching contract with Shane Watson for the Australian to eventually back out of the discussion.

The PCB has already started its training camp at the Kakul army base in preparation for the T20 World Cup in June, starting with Pakistan’s home series against New Zealand in April.

Ronchi is among those few players who have represented two countries in international cricket — he appeared first for Australia and then for New Zealand. PTI Cor AM AM AM

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