After missing out on the job of head coach of Indian cricket by a whisker, media reports have suggested that Mike Hesson was offered the top coaching job in Pakistan, however he decided to turn down the offer and didn’t officially apply to enter the race. According to media reports, Hesson declined the offers because he wasn’t keen on returning to the year-round schedule of international coaching and give up his television commitments with Star Sports. After the embarrassing performance in 2019 ICC World Cup, Pakistani cricket board is overhauling the entire coaching unit. Former coach Mickey Arthur was removed from the position of the head coach of Pakistan cricket team, along with his entire team of staff members, recently.
Indicating that he has not agreed for any coaching position with Pakistan Cricket Board, he tweeted “Just to clarify as plenty of speculation about …….. I have not applied for the Pakistan Head Coach Role with @TheRealPCB. Whoever gets the role certainly has plenty of talent to work with and would be an exciting proposition for whoever gets the job!#Pakistan”
Just to clarify as plenty of speculation about …….. I have not applied for the Pakistan Head Coach Role with @TheRealPCB. Whoever gets the role certainly has plenty of talent to work with and would be an exciting proposition for whoever gets the job!#pakistan
— Mike Hesson (@CoachHesson) August 21, 2019
Mike Hesson had made it to the top preferences of the three-member Cricket Advisory Committee in India– Kapil Dev, Anshuman Gaekwad, and Shantha Rangaswamy, which later announced Ravi Shashtri as head coach on August 16. Other than Hesson, two foreign shortlisted candidates were — Tom Moody and Phil Simmons.
It was also reported that Hesson was only interested in the coaching spot with India given its status as the biggest coaching job in world cricket, despite open position with the Pakistani cricket board.
While Mike Hesson has cited his professional commitments with Star Sports for turning down the offer many more reasons can be under play. Dismal record of Pakistan towards providing safety and security to foreign nationals specifically foreign sports professionals might have also played a part. Pakistan has had a violent history especially when it comes to cricket.
In 2009, 12 gunmen had attacked a bus carrying the Sri Lanka national cricket team. The cricketers were on their way to play the third day of the second Test against the Pakistani cricket team. Six members of the Sri Lanka national cricket team were wounded. Six Pakistani policemen and two civilians were killed.
The murder of Pakistani cricket coach Bob Woolmar just few days before Pakistan was knocked out of the 2007 ICC cricket World Cup also raised sharp questions on the influence of organized crime syndicates on cricket in Pakistan. Though initial reports had pointed the cause of death to be heart attack, however later Jamaican authorities launched an investigation into the matter because of the circumstances of Woolmer’s death; based on a report by pathologist Ere Seshaiah that Woolmer had died of asphyxia via manual strangulation. Ultimately investigation had concluded that Woolmer had died of natural causes, and was not murdered as indicated by the earlier pathologist’s report.
Reports have also indicated that top coach position was also open at the Bangladesh Cricket Board, however South African Russell Domingo was handed a two-year contract by Bangladesh Cricket Board (BCB) after they parted ways with Steve Rhodes post the 2019 World Cup. Speculations are rife that former captain Misbah-ul-Haq can take up a dual role – both as chief selector and head coach, however there has been no clear indication for Misbah-ul-Haq in this regard.