The Pakistani cricket authorities have decided to appoint Taimoor Ali Khan as sports psychologist for the national team prior to their World Cup campaign in England.
Taimoor was apparently recommended by the national team’s bowling coach Azhar Mahmood.
He was named until May 11 for the Pakistani team that will be leaving for England on April 23 to play some practice matches against English counties, a T20 international and five ODIs against England before the World Cup practice games begin.
“Taimoor will work with the players to prepare for a mega-event like the World Cup, and if necessary, the board can extend its contract for the World Cup, but for the time being he will be in the team until May 11th.” A reliable source in the Pakistan Cricket Board said.
It is not the first time that the Pakistani cricket authorities are seeking the help of a qualified sports psychologist to work with players.
Taimoor also worked with the Pakistani team during the final one-day series against Australia in the United Arab Emirates.
“He was in the players’ five games and held meetings with most of the players, including batsman Umar Akmal,” the source said.
In the past, sports psychologists have been recruited to hold consultations with Enfant Terrible players such as Ahmed Shehzad and Umar Akmal, who, despite their proven talents, have not established themselves for other reasons such as attitude, discipline and play in the national team.
“PCB hopes the presence of the sports psychologist will help players mentally prepare for the World Cup, and will give them plenty of time to meet with the players,” the source said.
The National Selectors will announce the World Cup squad after fitness tests on April 18th. However, it should be noted that the selectors will also name three reserve players who travel to England with the team.
The World Cup nations can make changes to their teams until May 23. Thereafter, the changes must be approved by the Technical Committee of the ICC event.