Pakistani sports psychology consultant, Taimoor Ali Khan, has offered his services to work with the Pakistan cricket team on its tour to England. He is currently living in the UK after achieving his MBA and MSC degree in Elite Performance Sports Psychology from the School of Sport in 1999.
He further added that he is the first Pakistan-born to complete a thesis on cricket. He clarified the need of attaching a sports psychologist with the Pakistan squad on its upcoming tour to England in the coming weeks.
“Countries like Australia, England, India and South Africa realise the importance of mental training along with physical and skill training which is evident from their performance,” Taimoor emphasised.
“In order to be successful and achieve greatness you are not only required to have the skill set or physical toughness but mental training is also of utmost importance.” He maintained
Analysing the importance of sports psychology, Taimoor offered to help Pakistan to put up their best possible performance by working in liaison with the players, the majority of who have not played Tests in England.
“As a sports psychology consultant, my mental workout training emphasis on the identity statement, performance statement, visualisation, imagery, effective goal-setting, personal reward programme, solution-focused tools and mental toughness,” he remarked.
“I believe that insecurity and uncertainty create fear among Pakistan team cricketers which has a negative effect on their performance outcome.
“On such a demanding and long tour of England continuous psychological and physiological support is of utmost importance for the Pakistan cricket team,” Taimoor said.
“As we are all aware that after the spot-fixing scandal on the previous trip, in 2010, this is going to be the first Test series between the two countries. Therefore, there will be immense pressure on players.”
“The Pakistani players undoubtedly will be under a lot of scrutiny from the British media. The importance of a sports psychology consultant is of great importance for this tour,” Taimoor clarified.
Taimoor also narrated an interesting story of how the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) approached him last year in a bid to hire his services. In fact, he flew down to Lahore from England and personally held a detailed meeting with PCB executive committee chief Najam Sethi.
But investigations carried by sources revealed that it was the rigid stance of PCB director game development Aizad Sayid that prevented Taimoor from joining the Pakistan setup after being recommended by Dr Tim Woodman, head of Bangor University’s Sports Science School where Taimoor studied.
“During their correspondence, Aizad raised an objection to Taimoor’s Urdu accent and wrote to Taimoor that it would serve no purpose at all for the Pakistan team or anyone else who would seek his advice,” PCB told the sources.
It makes a fascinating reading that the support staff of Pakistan squad has five foreigners in Mickey Arthur (head coach), Grant Flower (batting coach), Grant Luden (trainer), Shane Hayes (physiotherapist) and Steve Rixon (fielding coach).
Since joining the Pakistan team, Arthur has brought in Hayes and Rixon, the former Australian wicket-keeper who had been part of Australia squad in 2013 when Arthur was its head coach. And none of them speak Urdu.