Shattering Stereotypes: Multan Sultans’ Female Coaches Lead the Charge in PSL

Cath Dalton and Alex Hartley are paving the way for female coaches in men’s cricket, hoping that their success in the Pakistan Super League (PSL) serves as a testament to the capabilities of women in coaching roles within the men’s game. Dalton holds the position of fast bowling coach for Multan Sultans, making history as the first woman to assume such a role in a professional men’s team. Meanwhile, Hartley serves as the spin coach for the franchise.

Cath Dalton and Alex Hartley
Cath Dalton and Alex Hartley

Multan Sultans have achieved considerable success in the current PSL season, leading the table and securing qualification for the knockout stages with three group games to spare. Reflecting on their achievements, Dalton expressed her enthusiasm on the No Balls podcast, describing the experience as “absolutely incredible.” She emphasized the significance of their presence, not only in contributing to the team’s success but also in challenging stereotypes by showcasing that female coaches are more than capable at the highest levels of the game.

Dalton, a former Ireland international, brings a wealth of coaching experience to the table. At 31, she serves as a coach at the National Fast Bowling Academy in the UK, working alongside cricketing stalwarts such as former first-class cricketer Ian Pont and ex-South Africa fast bowler Andre Nel. Despite her coaching commitments, Dalton continues to contribute to women’s county cricket as a batter for Essex. Her journey from a fast bowler to a coach reflects a genuine passion for discipline and a commitment to breaking gender barriers in coaching.

The PSL is witnessing a historic moment with Dalton and England’s World Cup-winning spinner Hartley becoming the league’s first female coaches. Their inclusion in the coaching staff adds them to the esteemed company of trailblazers like ex-England wicketkeeper Sarah Taylor and former England women’s coach Lisa Keightley, who have also ventured into coaching roles within men’s cricket.

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Dalton shared her thoughts on the accomplishment, expressing, “Qualifying already, that’s just the icing on the cake.” She acknowledged the challenges of coaching at the franchise cricket level, where the competition features high-caliber international players. Despite the pressure, Dalton highlighted the valuable lessons learned, including the importance of self-confidence in any coaching situation.

The Multan Sultans’ fast bowling arsenal boasts talents like England bowler Chris Jordan and former England seamer David Willey. Adding to the team’s success is Pakistan spinner Usama Mir, who leads the wickets chart in the tournament. Hartley, who retired from cricket in 2023, spoke about the joy of being back in a team environment and how the team overcame initial criticism, proving their worth on the field.

The franchise’s owner supported the inclusion of female staff, urging the team to perform well to deflect attention from the groundbreaking nature of having women in coaching roles. Hartley expressed her gratitude for the positive response from the players, emphasizing the collaborative and supportive team environment that has contributed to Multan Sultans’ early success in the PSL. Their achievements not only mark a significant milestone for Multan Sultans but also serve as a landmark moment in breaking gender barriers in the realm of men’s cricket coaching.

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