Nottinghamshire’s Paul Franks takes up head coach role at Central Punjab

Paul Franks, the assistant coach to Peter Moores at Nottinghamshire County, will be head coach of Central Punjab in Pakistan’s Quaid-e-Azam trophy as well as the 50-over tournament, the Pakistan Cup. Bilal Shafayat, who is working with Notts’ age-group levels and second XI, and is one of the few English players to have played domestic first-class cricket in Pakistan, will be assisting Franks in his stint.
Franks is believed to be the first English coach of a domestic side in Pakistan, though there are currently a number of foreign coaches working in the system. He will take over the reins of Central Punjab replacing Abdul Razzaq in the head coach role.

“This was too good to turn down,” Franks told the Guardian. “It came about through a little bit of word of mouth and possibly Trent Rockets winning the Hundred when I was assistant to Andy Flower. He and Peter [Moores] are two incredible coaches who have trusted me to do my job as I see it and that’s probably helped.

“I’ve worked in the T10 league in Abu Dhabi and the temptation would be to find more gigs in franchise cricket. But I wanted to get out of my comfort zone a little, really experience a different culture and hopefully grow as a coach.

“Four-day and 50-over cricket may not be as fashionable right now but I want to work across all formats. And I’ve got ambitions to go as far as I can in my career. I want to help this team be the best they can be but also learn from the players too.”

Pakistan’s domestic season started last month on August 30 with the National T20 Cup as PCB ushered in several major changes to the domestic structure for 2022-23. The Quaid-e-Azam Trophy, the premier first-class event, will continue to be played on a double-league basis and will run from September 27 to November 30. The season will end with the 50-over Pakistan Cup, which will be staged in Karachi from December 10 to January 3.

Ever since 2019, PCB has been rejigging the backroom staff in the domestic circuit, encouraging retired first-class cricketers to pick up coaching jobs. The board now offers annual contracts to the coaching staff and carries out appraisals after every season.

South Africa’s Gordon Parsons, New Zealand’s Nicholas Webb, England’s Julian Fountain, Julian Wood, and Toby Radford are the other overseas coaches in the Pakistan system, all of whom are working in the PCB’s pathways development programme.

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