Pakistan's participation in the World T20 might still be up in the air, but the former champions are already making plans for the mega tournament by holding talks to rope in one of the greatest ever batsmen to grace the sport.
If there ever was a player made to play in the T20s, it was Sir Vivian Richards. Alas, the format came too late for him to strut out in the middle and go slam-bang like only he can, so the next best option for the West Indies great is to pass on some advice to the current generation.
Richards has been doing that to good effect in the Pakistan Super League, where he is a mentor for the Quetta Gladiators. And having admitted he would love to be a part of the Pakistan coaching setup, it looks like the Pakistan Cricket Board have made the right moves to bring Richards on board for the World T20, with the PCB in talks with the West Indies legend over a batting consultant position with the team.
"We are in talks with Sir Viv Richards to take on the role of batting consultant for the World Twenty20," a PCB source told The Dawn.
Pakistan, whose head coach is Waqar Younis, will always be a team capable of winning the World T20, considering their mercurial talents in this most-mercurial format of the game. However, if Richards can bring a bit of controlled aggression into the Pakistan batting lineup, their chances will improve considerably.
Having said that, though, the PCB will want to banish those World T20 participation doubts as quickly as possible. The board has repeatedly said the final decision over travelling to India for the T20 World Cup will be down to the government.
The BCCI has taken steps to ensure Pakistan will not play their matches in sensitive areas of the country – although the India vs Pakistan clash has come under protest in Himachal Pradesh – and after the Pakistan athletes in the South Asian Games faced little problems in terms of security, it does look likely the cricket team will be given permission to travel to India as well.
With Richards looking like being a part of the Pakistan coaching setup, things are looking up for Shahid Afridi's men.