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‘Excited’ Arthur looking forward to Pakistan consultancy role

Courtesy: Dawn News/Agencies

KARACHI: Former Pakistan head coach Mickey Arthur is looking forward to working with the national side again in what is likely to be a consultancy role.

Although the role will not require him to be physically present with the Pakistan squad, the South African will be directing a group of coaches which will make up the team’s management staff.

After efforts by the Pakistan Cricket Board — led by its interim Management Committee chairman Najam Sethi — to rope in Arthur as a full-time head coach fell apart due to the coach’s ongoing four-year contract with English County side Derbyshire, the board settled with hiring him as a consultant.

Sethi has been vocal about his negotiations with Arthur, however, no official announcement has been made so far about his appointment. Arthur, who served Pakistan as head coach from 2016-2018 has now all but confirmed his eventual return to the Pakistan setup.

“I’m very excited by that opportunity because Pakistan is very dear to me,” Arthur was quoted as saying by ESPNcricinfo on Friday. “But Derbyshire is as well.

“That was one of the things that I kept saying to Najam Sethi when he spoke to me — that Derbyshire was really important to me.

“I’ve got a four-year contract here and I’m only year one into a project.

“With my proposal and schedule I’ve put in place, I know that it is possible. But the nitty-gritties, we’re just going through at the minute.”

Arthur’s time as the Pakistan head coach saw him work through a period of transition, during which players like now Pakistan captain Babar Azam, pace spearhead Shaheen Shah Afridi and star all-rounder Shadab Khan were emerging youngsters.

The said players have now turned into superstars and Arthur said that will be the challenge when he works with them again.

“I kept in touch with all those players anyway. I’ve seen them grow up in front of me. The challenge is when I had them they were young boys,” he said, before quipping: “They’ve grown into men with egos now!”

“Managing them is going to be important, but I’ve got great relationships with all of them,” said the 54-year-old. “I just can’t wait to put that all together.”

Arthur is expected to visit Lahore next month but his stay won’t be too long.

He may be available for a considerable time when Pakistan start their preparations for the ICC Men’s Cricket World Cup, which is set to be held in India in October-November this year.

Pakistan’s on-ground coaching staff will be led by head coach Grant Bradburn with Andrew Puttick as batting coach and Morne Morkel as bowling coach. Two coaches are already working with the national team: Cliffe Deacon (physio) and Dri­kus Saaimon (strength and conditioning coach).

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