Mickey Arthur backs replacement Misbah to excel as Pakistan coach

Former Pakistan coach praises his successor’s passion for the game
Apr 21, 2020

Sri Lanka head coach Mickey Arthur has said he believes Misbah-ul-Haq will succeed as Pakistan’s head coach.

“Misbah has a great cricketing brain,” Pakistan’s former coach said in a conversation on Cricast. “He eats, sleeps and breathes cricket and is very passionate about the game. I think he’ll do a wonderful job. He came with new ideas and wanted to try out players and he reverted to the same formula we had back in the days.”

The Sri Lanka coach went on to say that the youngsters, which have been maturing, are some the finest players the country has to offer. “We just have to give them time and one thing about Pakistan is that they are not given that much time as everyone wants instant success. There was one thing which I loved and hated during my time with Pakistan was that either they were the king or at the bottom. There was nothing in the middle.”

He added that he had a good working relationship with ex-chief selector Inzamam-ul-Haq, who was open to his suggestions.

Arthur believes players are responsible for taking charge of their careers whereas coaches just facilitate them.

He claimed that Pakistan players were unhappy with the uncertainty surrounding the side when he had taken over. “It wasn’t a good environment as they started playing for themselves because they wanted to maintain their position in the side. They forgot about the team and began to worry about themselves. This is a terrible place for any team to be in. A part of my philosophy is to identify the players and give them optimum chance to perform to their best ability.”

He said talent and character play a massive role for a player whereas fitness and other facts are taken into criteria for selection.

Commenting on the allegations of favoritism during his time as coach, Arthur remarked that he did not play favorites but was partial towards those who had a knack of winning games and showed the desired work ethics.   

He recalled the moment when he first come across T20I skipper Babar Azam during a training session. He claimed that he was so impressed with his batting style that he told him that the batsman would perform in every game under his leadership.

Arthur feels pacer Mohammad Amir is well within his rights to take an indefinite break from Test cricket. “He was skeptical about playing Test cricket and it was selfish on my behalf to play him in every five-day game as I pushed him through a lot after which his body couldn’t take it. He just got tired and people would moan because his pace went down. He just couldn’t handle it anymore and Pakistan have a phenomenal white-ball bowler in Amir who can be a potential match-winner for Pakistan and win the T20 World Cup for the country.”

Arthur went on to say that he was kept in the loop when Amir was thinking over taking a break from Test cricket and the pacer would have retired from red-ball cricket a year earlier if he hadn’t had a good working relationship with him.




Mickey Arthur

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