"Coaching and playing are two different things, and most important part is how you transform the learning from the course into the practical field" - Misbah AFP

As many as 13 former Test players from Pakistan attended a four-day Level-2 Coach Education Course at the National Cricket Academy, Lahore to make headway into a coaching future. Some of the famous names included Misbah-ul-Haq, Saeed Ajmal, Salman Butt, Umar Gul and Zulfiqar Babar.

Ahmed Shehzad, who wasn't awarded a central contract by the Pakistan Cricket Board after the doping fiasco last year, headlined the non-retiree list. Shehzad's last international match was a Twenty20 International against Scotland in June 2018.

The course will prepare the participants for a coaching role, and train them in video analysis, coaching methodology, the implications and application of biomechanics in cricket, batting, bowling and fielding skills.

Mudassar Nazar, Director Academies, was ecstatic at so many cricketers making a move into coaching roles. "It is great news for Pakistan cricket that the international players are going to serve the game through coaching in future. The players have now recognised and realised the importance of the coach education programs, so we are really happy that many cricketers are coming forward towards this aspect of the game.

"I am very hopeful that the participants will take a step ahead and appear in Level-3 and Level-4 courses, like other former Test players did, these coaches have become Level-4 coaches now. Some of the coaching staff at the NCA and various other academies in Pakistan are also Level-4."

With Pakistan having been home to so many great fast bowlers, it's fair that a lot of focus during the training will be on biomechanics and bowlers. "If you don't understand the mechanics of bowling actions, you can't guide players which can result in major injuries, so this course specifically helps you teach the minor details to prevent players from injuries," Mudassar said.

Misbah, one of the participants in the course, highlighted how a coach's perspective is very different to that of a player, and how it's important to develop one over the other after retirement. "Coaching and playing are two different things, and most important part is how you transform the learning from the course into the practical field. The mindset of a coach and a player are absolutely contrasting. The approach is different and one has to understand this," Misbah said.

Participants (in alphabetical order): Abdur Rehman, Adnan Akmal, Ahmed Shehzad, Aizaz Cheema, Basit Ali, Bilal Asif, Ehsan Adil, Humayun Farhat, Misbah-ul-Haq, Qaiser Abbas, Saeed Ajmal, Salman Butt, Umaid Asif, Umar Gul, and Zulfiqar Babar