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  1. #1
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    “Some Pakistan fans are already calling me a traitor” : Azhar Mahmood

    In an interview with Saj (for inews), former Pakistan bowling coach speaks about offering ‘inside information’ on Pakistan and working with England’s white-ball bowlers in the upcoming T20I series against Pakistan.




    Former Pakistan bowling coach Azhar Mahmood may be England’s ace in the hole.

    “It’s a great opportunity for me to be working for the ECB. I believe it’s another chance for me to learn and develop as a coach and at the same time pass on my knowledge and experience to the English bowlers. If you look at England’s fast-bowling pool, there is so much strength-in-depth and competition for places and it’s a mouth-watering prospect for me to be able to work with such a talented group of cricketers.”

    Mahmood, who has previously served as bowling coach for Karachi Kings and Multan Sultans in the Pakistan Super League, is no stranger to playing and working in England and feels his experience of playing for Surrey and Kent will be extremely useful when working with the England national side.

    “I’ve worked previously with Tom Curran and Chris Jordan at Surrey and it will be nice to catch up with them again and help them to further develop as bowlers and work together on a few things which I have spotted. I also have worked with Moeen Ali and Eoin Morgan at the PSL and it’s always good to see some familiar faces in the dressing room.”

    The prospect of working with some exceptional bowling talents is an aspect of the England job that excites Azhar and he believes that he has the skills to get the best out of the likes of 23 year-old Lancashire pace-bowler Saqib Mahmood.

    “I’ve not worked with Saqib Mahmood or Lewis Gregory, but I’m looking to see what both have to offer as cricketers and to see which areas I can help them improve in. Saqib is a phenomenal talent who has really impressed me every time I have seen him bowl. He has improved leaps and bounds in the last couple of years and I can’t wait to start working with him and the rest of the boys.

    ”With extensive playing and international coaching experience under his belt, Azhar feels that his first-hand knowledge of the Pakistani players may be more than useful in the upcoming Twenty20 matches against Pakistan.

    “I’ve been fortunate to have played cricket all over the world and have had various coaching assignments including the role as bowling coach with Pakistan.

    “With experience, comes knowledge and I’ll be keen to pass on what I have learnt in my career to the boys within the England set-up. I believe that at this level minor adjustments make all the difference and hopefully I can, together with Jon Lewis, help the boys with anything regarding their bowling.”

    While Azhar Mahmood’s 164 match international career speaks for itself, it is quite likely that his previous association with Pakistan may well have been a deciding factor in his appointment by the ECB. For Azhar though, former allegiances have to be forgotten and he has no qualms about sharing that knowledge with his new employers.

    “Some Pakistan fans are already calling me a traitor for accepting the England role. Of course, I have inside information on the Pakistan dressing room and the players ahead of the T20I series, but the reality is that these days technical information on players is readily available via the analysts.

    “But, yes, I’ll be providing the England team with some information on Pakistan which hopefully will be of use to them and provide them with insight.”

    Pakistan’s two-year run as the number one ranked T20 international team came to an end in May of this year and recently the 2009 World Twenty20 winners have slipped to the number four position in the ICC rankings. Whilst Pakistan have proven performers in their squad, in Azhar’s view, taking on a fresh England side away from home will prove a tough challenge for the visitors.




    “It should be a close and hard-fought series.

    “I think both teams are evenly matched, and have some very exciting players.

    “There are no obvious weaknesses in either squad and Pakistan have some very experienced twenty over players such as Imad Wasim, Mohammad Amir, Wahab Riaz, Shoaib Malik and Mohammad Hafeez, so they have all the bases covered. But England’s players will be fresh as they haven’t been involved in the Test series, so they’ll be eager to perform.

    “Just looking at England’s T20I squad gives you an insight into the incredible strength in depth in English cricket at the moment.”

    https://inews.co.uk/sport/cricket/az...g-coach-612173


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  2. #2
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    Azhar should have some insight into Pakistan’s key bowlers and England should be able to counter them.

  3. #3
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    The same keyboard warriors who didn't want him as Pakistan bowling coach are now calling him a traitor for earning a living for himself and his family by working for the ECB.

    Words fail me for some people.



  4. #4
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    Silly really, why does Azhar even need to mention that as i am sure that is a very tiny fraction of fans.

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by Saj View Post
    The same keyboard warriors who didn't want him as Pakistan bowling coach are now calling him a traitor for earning a living for himself and his family by working for the ECB.

    Words fail me for some people.
    I really liked him to be honest. He was professional and seemed to work well with our youngsters. Though not sure how much the bowlers progressed under him.

  6. #6
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    He can perhaps already see the vast difference between both the sides and professionalism from the the team he is with right now. Not surprised he made the decision to join the ECB just like Mushy and Saqqy did back in the days.

  7. #7
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    All I want to say is: Azhar's credentials as a coach >>> Misbah's credentials as a coach

    Leave it to the PCB to butcher every decision.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by gazza619 View Post
    Silly really, why does Azhar even need to mention that as i am sure that is a very tiny fraction of fans.
    This is exactly what was coming to my mind

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bigboii View Post
    This is exactly what was coming to my mind
    He mentioned it because he would have received that impression.


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  10. #10
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    I doubt anyone has called him a traitor for joining England team as assistant to Bowling Coach, Saqlain & Mushy have been part of England team in higher capacities and I've never seen or heard someone calling them a traitor, infact fans were bashing PCB for not hiring them.

    Azhar does get trolled a lot of Social Media though, but that's something which happens with everyone on Twitter & FB, even with the greatest players, so I think he's just being salty here or he's weak enough to get that stuff into his mind.

    Azhar's tenure was worse for Pakistani fast bowlers in Test cricket, there was a lot of focus on varieties rather than seam &, swing, they were bowling slower balls regularly in Tests particularly in South Africa which was frustrating to see. He's good to be a bowling Coach or mentor at T20 level but he destroyed Pakistan's pace battery in Tests with his tactics.

  11. #11
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    You don’t need any “inside information” to beat Pakistan.

  12. #12
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    He can coach who he wants. He is not a traitor.

  13. #13
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    He is a professional and free to coach whoever he wants no doubt but this doesn't change the fact that there is an element of betrayel here. I think the fact that it's a short term contract where he's literally coming in to the role just for the t20s against Pakistan leaves a bit of a sour taste. One week he's the Pakistani voice on British radio, next week he's in the England camp lol. Bracing myself for the replies to this but I'd rather be honest on how I feel about it.

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by TrentDevil View Post
    I doubt anyone has called him a traitor for joining England team as assistant to Bowling Coach.
    Some journalists have indeed been voicing conspiracy theories.


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  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by Abdullah719 View Post
    Some journalists have indeed been voicing conspiracy theories.
    I think some fans have too.

    I don't think Azhar's complaining about the name-calling, rather he was having a bit of chuckle at the nature of some fans who when he was Pakistan bowling coach were hating on him and now he's working for ECB and the same guys are still unhappy.



  16. #16
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    As if he turned us into a world class bowling attack, lol, the inside information may bounce back on the English bowlers.

  17. #17
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    England had no better candidate than Azhar Mahmood?

    On the other hand, you can't not feel happy for Azhar Mahmood, the guy would have been lost and forgotten had he stuck around in Pakistan around 2000-2002 when he was struggling for a place in the side, he chose to gamble on his fortunes in English Country Cricket and hes had a great country, T-20 career and now coaching career. He has proven that you don't need to be a successful international cricketer to make it in cricket financially.

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by Saj View Post
    The same keyboard warriors who didn't want him as Pakistan bowling coach are now calling him a traitor for earning a living for himself and his family by working for the ECB.

    Words fail me for some people.
    Exactly this. This mentality is toxic and will cause more harm than good.
    If Pakistan doesn’t want to utilise his services then he is more than within his rights to work elsewhere.

    I, for one, wish Azhar all the best.

  19. #19
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    Why are people calling him a traitor?

    He is a professional who has to make a living.



  20. #20
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    I understand where he is coming from but, in my opinion anyone who takes everything on social media seriously should avoid being on social media. It doesnt apply to just Azhar rather to most of the players of other countries around as well.

    He looks like a decent professional so he should be mature enough to put aside the random noise on social media. We can start condemning people saying that but its not gonna serve even a tiny purpose as nobody can control millions and billions (World) of people or change their mind set. Azhar has to be the sensible one here otherwise as I said, social media isnt some form of oxygen which everybody must need to inhale.

    Coming to Azhar joining Eng, I have no issues. However, I have some concerns on this consultant part on series to series basis in the form of an ex coaching staff Member of the opposition from just around a year ago. There should be some restrictions, I would have said the same if Pak would have appeared with Travis Baylis or some other Eng staff member from 2019 as consultant before coming into the series. Full time role is a completely another matter as that doesnt change with opposition and is for considerable time. Again its just my opinion and I am open to be convinced otherwise.


  21. #21
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    So is advice coming handy for England batsmen?


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    He's done a sterling job nullifying Pakistani bowlers this summer. If England wanted him as a coach and not an inside source, he could've waited ??. No lack of national pride, at all. Waz and Vicki are always pleaing for Indian ipl jobs.

  23. #23
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    Never seen someone look so depressed after the team he coaches has won!

  24. #24
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    The way eng bowled thrash today, before pak fans can call him traitor hel get his P45 in the post!!

  25. #25
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    Azhar has played way more T-20 games than Waqar and it reflects in his coaching. He coaches the bowlers to bowl different kinds of yorkers, bouncers, slower deliveries. Waqar barely played this format and has zero ideas on what to preach to the bowlers and the results are in front of us.

  26. #26
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    Whilst it is an awkward situation, he has to earn a living.

    Will the Pakistan fans on twitter calling him a traitor be paying his monthly mortgage payments for him if he quits the England job? If not, they should pipe down.

  27. #27
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    Quote Originally Posted by Thephenom View Post
    Never seen someone look so depressed after the team he coaches has won!
    Azhar? Must have missed this. At least his heart is still with Pakistan I suppose

  28. #28
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    Quote Originally Posted by shafkath View Post
    He is a professional and free to coach whoever he wants no doubt but this doesn't change the fact that there is an element of betrayel here. I think the fact that it's a short term contract where he's literally coming in to the role just for the t20s against Pakistan leaves a bit of a sour taste. One week he's the Pakistani voice on British radio, next week he's in the England camp lol. Bracing myself for the replies to this but I'd rather be honest on how I feel about it.
    Same Pakistan that let him go and replaced him with of all people, Waqar Younis?

  29. #29
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    Quote Originally Posted by shafkath View Post
    He is a professional and free to coach whoever he wants no doubt but this doesn't change the fact that there is an element of betrayel here. I think the fact that it's a short term contract where he's literally coming in to the role just for the t20s against Pakistan leaves a bit of a sour taste. One week he's the Pakistani voice on British radio, next week he's in the England camp lol. Bracing myself for the replies to this but I'd rather be honest on how I feel about it.

    Element of betrayal my foot. Get your head out of the ground and wake up to the 21st century. He can coach whichever team he wants and pass on whatever information he wishes. This isn’t a war in which he has defected to another side.
    It’s sport and needs be treated as such. Ex players still need to earn a living so if the opportunity arises then let them earn their living. There’s a absolutely nothing wrong neither morally nor ethically with his decision.

  30. #30
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    Words like traitor and betrayal should not be used in sport especially when ex players take up a coaching role.

    Kevin Peterson texted inside info to the South African team whilst playing for England; this here is an element of true betrayal (if true).

    That being said there are 2 points which need to be considered:

    A) Azhar hopped from Pak camp to Eng camp within the same tour. Poor judgment but like Infinitee said he has mouths to feed and if Pakistan aren't going to pay for his expertise then he should be free to coach wherever he likes. That being said, a point to note is that Azhar has had emmense success in the English domestic t20 games. The question is why did Pakistan not want to use this expertise in a tour against England in England?

    B) Given England's calibre, whether Azhar helped England or not, they probably still would have won.

  31. #31
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    Quote Originally Posted by Infinitee786 View Post
    Element of betrayal my foot. Get your head out of the ground and wake up to the 21st century. He can coach whichever team he wants and pass on whatever information he wishes. This isn’t a war in which he has defected to another side.
    It’s sport and needs be treated as such. Ex players still need to earn a living so if the opportunity arises then let them earn their living. There’s a absolutely nothing wrong neither morally nor ethically with his decision.
    Wake up to the 21st century? I'll pass, thanks. 20th century was a better place in everyway

  32. #32
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    Quote Originally Posted by shafkath View Post
    Wake up to the 21st century? I'll pass, thanks. 20th century was a better place in everyway
    Guess u dont realise there were two world wars in the 20th century resulting in 100 + million dead and thats just the official figure.

    Never mind on topic, Azhar needs to keep his mouth shut and do the job properly.. England bowlers were poor in the T20s by the way.

  33. #33
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    Quote Originally Posted by gazza619 View Post
    Guess u dont realise there were two world wars in the 20th century resulting in 100 + million dead and thats just the official figure.

    Never mind on topic, Azhar needs to keep his mouth shut and do the job properly.. England bowlers were poor in the T20s by the way.
    His jobs over haha he was just there for the T20s against us.

  34. #34
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kenpachi View Post
    Words like traitor and betrayal should not be used in sport especially when ex players take up a coaching role.

    Kevin Peterson texted inside info to the South African team whilst playing for England; this here is an element of true betrayal (if true).

    That being said there are 2 points which need to be considered:

    A) Azhar hopped from Pak camp to Eng camp within the same tour. Poor judgment but like Infinitee said he has mouths to feed and if Pakistan aren't going to pay for his expertise then he should be free to coach wherever he likes. That being said, a point to note is that Azhar has had emmense success in the English domestic t20 games. The question is why did Pakistan not want to use this expertise in a tour against England in England?

    B) Given England's calibre, whether Azhar helped England or not, they probably still would have won.
    Incorrect. Azhar was dropped last year. He’s been out of a coaching gig for several months - should not be blamed for taking the job.

    Why Pakistan did not want to use his expertise? Because he was dropped a year ago and Pakistan doesn’t plan for things a year in advance. It’s Pakistan.

  35. #35
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kenpachi View Post
    Words like traitor and betrayal should not be used in sport especially when ex players take up a coaching role.

    Kevin Peterson texted inside info to the South African team whilst playing for England; this here is an element of true betrayal (if true).

    That being said there are 2 points which need to be considered:

    A) Azhar hopped from Pak camp to Eng camp within the same tour. Poor judgment but like Infinitee said he has mouths to feed and if Pakistan aren't going to pay for his expertise then he should be free to coach wherever he likes. That being said, a point to note is that Azhar has had emmense success in the English domestic t20 games. The question is why did Pakistan not want to use this expertise in a tour against England in England?

    B) Given England's calibre, whether Azhar helped England or not, they probably still would have won.
    Dont know what he helped.all bowlers kept bowling short to hafeez who is good on backfoot.

  36. #36
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    Quote Originally Posted by shafkath View Post
    His jobs over haha he was just there for the T20s against us.
    Azhar Mahmood has confirmed to us that although he is out of the bio-secure bubble at the moment, he will have other assignments with the England side in the future.
    Last edited by MenInG; 3rd September 2020 at 15:01.


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  37. #37
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    I rate Azhar Mahmood above Waqar Younis who injured and mishandled players like Junaid Khan or his preference of Wahab Riaz.

    Azhar did well with bowlers like Hassan Ali, his only drawback was his fight with Sohail Khan. Apart from that the guy actually has no ego and wishes to see his groomed bowlers serving Pakistan for many years. He was a great deputy to Mickey Arthur. Before disasters by the name of Wasim Khan and Mani struck Pakistan cricket. The team was doing alright even though it also faced hurdles of nepotism by Inzamam and his consistent blocking of selecting domestic batting performers andcontinued support fir Hafeez and Malik which cost the side
    Last edited by ZamanFan; 3rd September 2020 at 18:27.

  38. #38
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    Quote Originally Posted by MenInG View Post
    Azhar Mahmood has confirmed to us that although he is out of the bio-secure bubble at the moment, he will have other assignments with the England side in the future.
    He'll probably be wheeled out for the next set of games against Pakistan at some point just to make him feel valued. I can't really see what he would pass on to the England camp apart from weaknesses in Pakistan batsmen maybe. Seems like a waste of money to me, pretty sure England bowlers would have picked those up themselves.


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  39. #39
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mercurial View Post
    As if he turned us into a world class bowling attack, lol, the inside information may bounce back on the English bowlers.
    The pacers actually did well in the World Cup which was his last tournament. Amir was excellent, Wahab had a decent comeback and Shaheen had a fantastic end to the tournament. It was the batting against the Windies that knocked us out.

  40. #40
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    He was only drafted in as cover because England wanted their main team to prepare for the aussie games, if it wasnt for covid they would not have hired azhar. Anyway with his record coaching our bowlers it was probably a good thing he was working with england.


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