Islamabad United rope in Misbah-ul-Haq as head coach for PSL 2020
Misbah-ul-Haq has been appointed as Islamabad United's head coach for the next edition of the Pakistan Super League.
Misbah, who currently serves as Pakistan's coach and chief selector, previously captained Islamabad United to their title win in the inaugural PSL season in 2016.
The 45-year-old parted ways with United in the last PSL edition following a three-year association and joined Peshawar Zalmi, turning out for the franchise in three games where he racked up 126 runs.
Misbah's selection as United's head coach is bound to raise eyebrows given the Pakistan Cricket Board's strict stance on the notion of conflict of interest in the past.
He reacted to his new role with Islamabad by expressing gratitude to the team owners and promised to fulfill the expectations that came with the job.
"I am humbled with the opportunity that Islamabad United have offered me, and I take this role as a massive responsibility.
"I know that this franchise has championship expectations but I am absolutely ready for the task at hand," he said.
Misbah takes over the reins from Dean Jones, who was recently named the head coach of rival PSL side Karachi Kings.
Meanwhile, Saeed Ajmal will continue in his role as the two-time PSL winners' spin bowling coach whereas Luke Ronchi is expected to take up the player mentor and assistant coach responsibilities.
Ronchi was the leading run-getter in PSL 3 - his first stint in the league - and was pivotal to Islamabad United's victorious campaign, which was marked by his blistering batting witnessed from the get-go while opening the innings for them.
The wicketkeeper-batsman served as New Zealand's assistant coach during the ICC World Cup 2019, helping them reach the final where England edged ahead on the basis of a boundary count.
"I will look to mentor and coach the guys where needed. I love how this team is run like a family, and this constant evolution is a journey I wish to contribute on," Ronchi said.
The former Black Caps player will continue to be an active member of the squad alongside his coaching duties.
"I am particularly excited to be in Pakistan for the whole of the PSL. I've been to the country thrice now with United and it's something that I'm truly looking forward to."
Ali Naqvi, Islamabad United owner, said: "From the start one of our goals has been to promote from within. There has been a dearth of Pakistani coaches coming through, and we have aimed from the first season of the PSL to plan towards evolving experienced players into coaching."