KARACHI: Pakistan’s appointment of Trent Woodhill as batting coach for next month’s Champions Trophy has been met with bafflement, with former greats saying they had never even heard of the Australian.
The Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) Monday appointed the 42-year-old Woodhill for three weeks after the team’s disastrous performance with the bat on their recent tour of South Africa.
Woodhill is currently assistant coach at Delhi Daredevils, second bottom in the Indian Premier League, and has had previous spells with New Zealand and New South Wales.
Former Test captain Hanif Mohammad, one of Pakistan’s all-time great batsman and for many years holder of the world-record first class score of 499, was unimpressed.
“Who is Woodhill?” he said. “I have heard his name for the first time in my life. I am surprised how the PCB chose him when his credentials are not known.”
Inzamam-ul-Haq worked as batting consultant with the team ahead of their tour to India in December-January but negotiations with the 120-Test veteran fell through in February. Former wicket-keeper and captain Rashid Latif also claimed ignorance.
“What can I say about a coach whose name I have not heard before?” said Latif.
“Pakistan have a batting legend in Javed Miandad who should be helping the batsmen.”
Miandad, Pakistan’s leading Test run-scorer with 8,832, is currently a director general in the PCB. He will help the batsmen during a tune-up camp in Abbottabad before the team’s departure for Britain.
Pakistan will play warm-up games against Scotland and Ireland before the eight-team Champions Trophy starts on June 6.
Former captain Moin Khan said Inzamam should have been given the job.
“Pakistan has so many big names who could have helped the batsmen in a better way than an unknown person,” said Moin.
PCB director of international cricket Intikhab Alam defended Woodhill’s appointment for a short stint, saying the he has rich experience as batting and fielding coach.