Abbas named Wellington bowling coach

Former Wellington Firebirds and Auckland Aces bowler, Azhar Abbas, has been named as Cricket Wellington’s new specialist pace bowling coach.

Abbas joins Cricket Wellington following a successful winter working with New Zealand Cricket’s wider training squads and development squads where he has helped nurture some of New Zealand’s most promising fast bowlers.

Abbas, who also played first-class cricket in Pakistan, shifted to New Zealand in 2004 to join Karori Cricket Club.

Since then, he has held specialist pace bowling coach roles with the Auckland Aces, a Director of Cricket role at Eden Roskill Cricket Club in Auckland and founded the successful New Zealand Pace Academy.

“We’re extremely excited to have Azhar on board,” said Cricket Wellington director of Cricket Bruce Edgar.

“He brings a wealth of experience and knowledge both as a player and a coach and he understands the landscape of New Zealand domestic cricket well.

“We’re looking forward to getting out on the grass nice and early next month and beginning our preparations with a full specialist coaching group now on board!”

Abbas will play a key role in developing fast bowlers in Wellington, working across the Firebirds and Blaze, as well as the Cricket Wellington pathway squads.

Cricket Wellington CEO Cam Mitchell said he was delighted to have the new specialist coaching model in place ahead of the new season.

“We want to keep supporting our high-performance players with the best coaching support possible, and Azhar’s tack record illustrates the impact he can have here,” he said.

“This will be a fresh start for the both our high-performance teams and the organisation as a whole, with new faces and new challenges, but our objective to produce more people who play for New Zealand has not changed.

“We’re looking forward to an exciting summer ahead, which will hopefully bring more success.”

The Firebirds and Blaze will begin their preparations for the 2022/23 season next month.

Article added: Thursday 18 August 2022