Islamabad United is the most successful franchise in the history of the Pakistan Super League, and the winner of the first & third edition of the HBL PSL. It is with pleasure that Islamabad United announces that Azhar Mahmood will join the franchise as the Head Coach for the seventh edition of the HBL PSL. Johan Botha, Islamabad United's Head Coach in HBL PSL 6, will not be joining the franchise this season due to his commitments in Australia. Islamabad United achieved the best league stage of any team in the history of the HBL PSL under Botha.
Mahmood played 164 international matches for Pakistan, as well as T20 cricket for franchises in England, New Zealand, India, Australia, South Africa, and the West Indies. In the first season of the HBL PSL 1, he was part of Islamabad United's title-winning team. In addition to coaching in the PSL with the Karachi Kings and Multan Sultans, he was the bowling coach of the Pakistan national team from 2016 to 2019. In the summer of 2021, he was hired as a consultant for the England national team, following his stint as bowling coach of the Oval Invincibles.
🚨 Azhar Mahmood is the new Head Coach of Islamabad United!— Islamabad United (@IsbUnited) December 2, 2021
We welcome @AzharMahmood11 back to the #ISLUFamily. He was instrumental in @MultanSultans winning the title last season. He started his @thePSLt20 journey with #ISLU in PSL 1.
PR: https://t.co/itFiiBjZX1#UnitedWeWin pic.twitter.com/rcYOTuy8Kv
Regarding his appointment Mahmood said, “I was part of Islamabad United’s title winning team in PSL 1. The franchise and the twin cities of Islamabad and Rawalpindi are quite close to my heart as my hometowns. United have always paved the way and provided a platform for emerging players, from Shadab to Asif to most recently Wasim, all started their careers here. It is not only a great platform for grooming local players but coaches too. Saeed Ajmal is such an example and I look forward to working with him this year now that I take a new path in my career as the Head Coach of Islamabad United. I am obviously familiar with most of the guys there. It was an absolute pleasure to be the bowling coach of Hassan, Shadab, Faheem and co in my stint as Pakistan’s bowling coach. Together we became the number 1 T20 team in the world for an extended period of time. I have played franchise cricket all over the world and I look forward to sharing my experience with the guys at Islamabad United. The franchise believes in unity, empowers youngsters and believes in data; those are values which are dear to me. I thank Mr Ali Naqvi for the trust he has put in me and I will do my best to deliver to his expectations. At the end of the day we are a family and #UnitedWeWin.”
Ali Naqvi, the Owner of Islamabad United, said, “Azhar was with us back in 2016 and his subsequent success as a bowling coach is not a surprise to anyone who interacted with him then. Seeing the development of so many of the young bowlers in the national team over the last five years is a testament to his work ethic. Islamabad United believes in grooming our players and coaches from within, and we are pleased to have Azhar back as part of the family. The development of our players has been a source of pride for us, with three former Emerging Category players being part of Pakistan’s T20 World Cup squad this year, but the same is true of our coaching staff. We began this journey with only one local as part of our coaching staff back in 2016, and we are pleased that our staff this year will be overwhelmingly local, led by Azhar. Furthermore, Azhar provides the progressive understanding of T20 cricket that we pride ourselves on, and we are confident that he will do his utmost in achieving our shared goals.”