As an international cricketer, Atiq-uz-Zaman's wicketkeeping career amounted to one Test and three ODIs for Pakistan in 2000.
Atiq took five catches in his one Test against Sri Lanka, and was recognised as one of the best keepers in his country, but found his path blocked by Moin Khan and Rashid Latif. Between 1991 and 2003, if one of them wasn't keeping, the other was and few others got a chance.
He played for a number of first-class sides in Pakistan in addition to playing club cricket for St Annes CC. With retirement from playing the game looming, Atiq decided to pursue his ambition to be a top level coach – someone who could make a difference. "I initially went to UCLan's partner Myerscough College to study a Foundation Degree in Sports and Exercise Science," said Atiq.
"When I completed the course my tutor put me in touch with Bryan Jones at UCLan who recommended a Master's in Sports Coaching. It was the best decision I've ever made – the teachers were fantastic and the learning environment was great. I've successfully completed my studies and really feel my coaching has improved.
"My ambition now is to work at an Elite level. I've been appointed as Head Coach of Sui Southern Gas Company cricket team in Pakistan and hopefully this will set me on my way to coaching at international level - either in England or elsewhere in the world."
Course Leader Craig Wright said Atiq's experience of playing international cricket was a useful addition to the learning environment for other students. He commented: "An important aspect of the MA Sports Coaching programme is shared learning and reflecting on each other experiences, strengths, weakness, values and beliefs.
"Having played and coached at professional level in the UK and Pakistan, Atiq was able to share interesting insights into the complexities of high performance sports while working with challenging individuals and situations.
"Despite being a vastly experienced coach Atiq benefited from engaging with formal assessments, workshop and professional decisions, as they encouraging him to explore important pedagogical issues underpinning coaching which he was not previously aware of. This in turn further developed his coaching ability."