Pakistan Cricket Board had a setback as the Darren Berry pulled out of the race for Pakistan’s fielding coach. The Australian was favorite to take over from Steve Rixen who resigned in June. Since, Pakistan Cricket has been looking for a replacement and it seemed that Berry would be taking the reins soon.
Berry, who played more 150 games in the Australian domestic circuit was initially supposed to join the team before the start of T20 tri series in Zimbabwe. However, PCB couldn’t finalize the team and the date of joining was pushed forward to 25th August, keeping the Asian Cup in consideration. The former Islamabad United coach was backed by head coach Micky Arthur.
However, it seems like due delays, the veteran coach has taken his name out of contention. He confirmed that he will be returning to Islamabad United for PSL 4.
Speaking to ESPNCricinfo, he had this to say.
“I’m extremely thankful for the opportunity presented by Mickey Arthur and PCB. After healthy discussions between the PCB and myself, I have decided that at this point in time with a young family (Berry has three children) that full-time international travel was a bridge too far right now. I will continue to work with Islamabad United in the PSL and will keep an open mind in relation to international coaching opportunities in the future.”
PCB however, denied that the delays were unusual while confirming that they were in talks with Berry. A PCB officer had this to say.
“(There was) no delay, Steve Rixon was contracted to us till end June. We gave an ad that had a deadline of June 27 to hire new coach. After that we were negotiating terms and everything was agreed until he withdrew for personal reasons, but on good terms with PCB.”
Steve Rixon, who was credited for improvement in fielding standard of the team was also offered an extension but he was not interested. With uncertainty surrounding PCB chairman’s position, it is unlikely that team Pakistan will have a fielding coach with them for Asia Cup.