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Tuesday January 31, 2023

Mickey Arthur set to 'rejoin' as Pakistan head coach

I think the issues will be solved in the next two to three days and Mickey will come with support staff, says Sethi

By AFP & Sports Desk
January 23, 2023
An experienced South African cricketer Mickey Arthur. — ICC/File
An experienced South African cricketer Mickey Arthur. — ICC/File

KARACHI: Pakistan is set to appoint experienced South African Mickey Arthur for a second stint as head coach, a top cricket board official said on Monday.

The 54-year-old will replace Saqlain Mushtaq, whose contract expires next month.

"I am in negotiations with Mickey personally and we have covered 90 per cent of the issues," Najam Sethi, Pakistan Cricket Board's (PCB) Management Committee chairman, said during a press conference in Lahore.

"Hopefully, very soon we may give you the news that Mickey will be joining us," adding that "the issues will be solved in the next two to three days and Mickey will come with support staff."

Under Arthur's tenure as head coach between 2016 and 2019, Pakistan won the Champions Trophy and became number one in the T20 international rankings.

But his contract was not renewed after Pakistan failed to reach the semi-finals of the 2019 World Cup.

Arthur is currently serving as head coach of Derbyshire in England on a three-year contract.

He has vast experience, having also coached his native South Africa, Australia and Sri Lanka.

Pakistan cricket is going through a number of changes after PCB chairman Ramiz Raja was removed last month.

Raja was replaced by a 14-member committee led by Sethi.

Former batsman Haroon Rasheed was also appointed as chief selector, replacing Shahid Afridi, who served on an interim basis for one month.

ACC meeting

During the presser, he further told the media that he will attend Asian Cricket Council (ACC)'s next meeting in Bahrain and will put forward Pakistan's stance related to hosting Asia Cup later this year.

"Finally, we have a date now to meet ACC officials. I will attend ACC's meeting on February 4 in Bahrain. I am not sure about our stance for now, I will decide it in the meeting keeping an eye on the situation," he said.

Sethi was expected to meet ACC officials on his recent visit to Dubai for attending India-backed International League T20 (ILT20)'s opening ceremony that took place on January 13. Reportedly, Sethi didn't get a chance to meet ACC officials on the sidelines.

Former PCB chairman Ramiz Raja had stated that Pakistan won't go to India if they pull out from Asia Cup in Pakistan. The statement came after ACC president and BCCI's Secretary General Jay Shah claimed last year that India has already decided to not participate in the Asian event in Pakistan. Shah's statement wasn't confirmed by BCCI or ACC officially.

Pakistan is scheduled to host Asia Cup for the first time after almost 14 years. The event will be based on the 50-overs format keeping in mind ICC World Cup 2023 which is scheduled in India later this year.

'Cases' on hold

Sethi remarked that the cases of two to three cricketers, including Sarfaraz Ahmed and Mohammad Nawaz, are on hold and they all know why their cases are on hold.

"First, they need to resolve all their outstanding issues. If they could not apologise for the cases and persist on being benched, then that's fine," he said.

Sethi further said that the rehabilitation project has ceased because the team does not need it. "We do not need to pour extra millions of rupees into the facilities which are already available," he added.

Three members team has also been set up regarding the pitches. There would be a need for consultations regarding the separate teams, PCB's top official said noted.