Friendly Faces: Babar Azam and Gary Kirsten’s Meeting Ahead of T20Is

Former South African cricketer Gary Kirsten has stepped into a new role as the head coach of Pakistan’s white-ball team, gearing up for the T20 World Cup 2024. The 56-year-old cricketing veteran joined forces with the Pakistani side in England ahead of a pivotal series against England, marking a significant shift in the team’s coaching dynamics.

Kirsten’s arrival in Leeds, just in time for the first T20I match at Headingley on May 22, was met with warm greetings from Pakistan skipper Babar Azam, men’s assistant coach Azhar Mahmood, and team manager Wahab Riaz. A viral clip circulating on social media captured Babar’s infectious smile as he welcomed the seasoned coach, signaling a promising start to their collaboration.

Pakistan’s recent victory against Ireland (1-2) in May 2024 served as a prelude to their upcoming challenges in England. The three-match T20I series against Ireland is not only a test of their mettle but also a crucial stepping stone in their preparations for the much-anticipated 2024 T20 World Cup.

The appointment of Kirsten, alongside Jason Gillespie as the red-ball coach, signifies Pakistan’s strategic overhaul in their coaching setup. Kirsten expressed his enthusiasm for leading the Pakistan men’s cricket team, emphasizing the honor bestowed upon him to guide such a dynamic group of players on the international stage.

Kirsten acknowledged the transformative phase in Pakistan cricket, fueled by a new administration and a roster of players poised for excellence. With the ICC Men’s T20 World Cup 2024 looming on the horizon, Kirsten sees this as an opportune moment for Pakistan to showcase their prowess and uphold their legacy as a formidable force in the cricketing world.

As Kirsten assumes his role at the helm, the cricketing fraternity eagerly awaits the unfolding chapters of Pakistan’s journey under his tutelage, poised for the challenges and triumphs that lie ahead.

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