LAHORE: It seems the chapter of bringing back Mickey Arthur as the national team head coach has closed after both the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) and the South Africa-born coach could not agree on the terms of the services.
“Yes, we had offered Mickey Arthur the assignment of coach, keeping in view his past performances for the Pakistan team but instead of coming to join as a full-time coach he is ready to offer his services as consultant for one year. We did not agree with his offer of working as consultant as it will not deliver the desired results,” PCB chairman Najam Sethi told Dawn on Tuesday.
“Arthur also sent a schedule of his [planned] activities with the Pakistan team as consultant from 2023-2025 as he was not ready to work as full-time coach.
“Now we will look to find a full-time foreign coach for which the process has started,” he added.
Later on Tuesday, a PCB press release on the subject was issued.
“The PCB today confirmed it has been in talks with former national team head coach Mickey Arthur with a view to appointing him as the head coach to guide the side through to the ACC Asia Cup, ICC World Cup 2023, ICC T20 World Cup 2024 and the ICC Champions Trophy 2025.
However, owing to his long-term contract with Derbyshire, we have also discussed a proposal [for him] to act as a consultant to the PCB on a time-sharing basis with Derbyshire,“ the release said.
It may be mentioned here that in during the tenure of South Africa-born Arthur (2016-2019) as Pakistan head coach, the country emerged as world’s top team in Tests and T20 Internationals besides enjoying a leading position in ODI format as they won the 2017 ICC Champions Trophy under Sarfraz Ahmed’s captaincy in England.
When Sethi resigned when in 2018 with Imran Khan’s Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf for the first time came to power in the federal government, his successor Ehsan Mani promised Arthur in 2019 that he would get an extension. However after the 2019 50-over World Cup, Arthur was removed as head coach and the position of chief selector was given to former skipper Misbah-ul-Haq.
When asked, the chairman said Arthur, 54, might be cautious (in taking up the role offered by the present PCB) due to his experience as Pakistan team head coach. However in fact, the South African, who also coached South Africa (2005-2010) and Australia (2010-2013) was enjoying a good stint with the Derbyshire as coach.
Therefore, the chances of Arthur returning as a full-time Pakistan coach look slim for various reasons on both sides.
Under the circumstances, the PCB will continue to look for the right person for the important post of head coach for which some top names are already under consideration.
Meanwhile, Sethi denied some media reports suggesting he had made an offer to interim chief selector Shahid Afridi to continue with the job for one year.
“Afridi was appointed as interim chief selector for the [ongoing] series against New Zealand after which the PCB will decide [about the chief selector],” Sethi remarked.
Currently, he added, the top PCB management was in Karachi and was following Pakistan’s ongoing ODI series against New Zealand.
“After the New Zealand series, the PCB will take several decisions about the future.”
Moreover, Sethi will leave for Dubai on Thursday, on the invitation of the Emirates Cricket Board, to attend the inaugural ceremony of the International League T20 there.
“On the sidelines [of the ceremony], the chairman may meet Asian Cricket Council and ICC officials to discuss the matters relating to hosting the Asia Cup and the ICC Champions Trophy in Pakistan,” a PCB spokesman said.
Published in Dawn, January 11th, 2023