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Mickey Arthur set to join as Pakistan team director

By Real11 - Jan 31 2023 260 Views
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Mickey Arthur set to be appointed Pakistan team director

Pakistan Cricket Board and Mickey Arthur are close to agreeing a deal that will result in Arthur’s return to the Pakistan’s men's side- but in a different role this time. The 54 year old who earlier served as the head coach, has now been approached to join as the team director of the team. Talks between the two parties had concluded three weeks ago when the Pakistan Cricket Board announced it was conducting a search for a replacement for Saqlain Mushtaq, the outgoing Pakistan coach. 

The two sides had however failed to reach an agreement on how they could structure a role, given Arthur has a long term deal with Derbyshire. But the interim head of the Pakistan Cricket Board, Najam Sethi last week revealed that he was continuing the pursuit of Arthur. As per the sources it is understood that an arrangement between the two is close to being finalised now, with Arthur potentially starting from April 1 as team director. 

The designation we believe will make for an atypical management structure at the international level at least. In this he will not travel with the Pakistan Team on every tour but will have a handpicked group of support staff managing operations. The support staff is expected to be led by former Pakistan fielding coach- Grant Bradburn in the role of a high powered assistant coach. There will also be three separate coaches for batting, bowling and fielding, but no conventional head coach. 

Arthur will not be hands-on with the team during the English county season; For instance Pakistan tour Sri Lanka this July and are scheduled to host the Asia T20 in September. But once the English season is over, Arthur is expected to be with the side at the showpiece event (ODI World Series) in India in October-November this year and the Test tour of Australia later in the winter. The duration of such a contract is still being worked out but both sides believe Shaheens’ schedule is such that it allows for such an arrangement to work. 

Rehan Ul Haq, the general manager of the Pak T20 franchise Islamabad and an eminent broadcast analyst is likely to be one of the more fascinating appointments under Arthur. He is expected to be, on paper, the team manager but with a concise much broader than the more traditional administrative role of managers. Rehan is also known for creating the date driven approach at the Islamabad (two times champions) dressing room.

Arthur in the past (2016-2019) has been recognised for revolutionising the Pakistan Cricket Team. A team which enjoyed a successful white ball period that included the 2017 Champions Trophy triumph. After a dismal show at the 2016 World Series, Arthur helped transform a T20 side under the leadership of Sarfaraz Khan and took them to the number one spot in World rankings. There were significant Test results along the way, though the red ball metamorphosis proved harder. One big, early loss at the 2019 World Series deprived Pakistan the opportunity of competing in the final four race and Arthur was replaced by Misbah-ul-Haq soon after. 

More importantly, Arthur’s return will reunite him with a number of players in whose development he played a pivotal role in that first stint, including Babar Azam. Arthur persisted with Azam during a torrid phase into Test cricket and supervised his white ball rise. Others such as Shaheen Shah Afridi, Fakhar Zaman, Shadab Khan and Hasan Ali have also spoken highly of Arthur and the impact he has had on their careers. Following his initial spell at Pakistan, Arthur had a stint with Sri Lanka and then joined as the head coach of the  Derbyshire cricket club.  

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