Pakistan’s newly appointed head coach Mickey Arthur has made his intentions clear to block out any external influences that he would have to face during his new role as coach of the mercurial side.
In an interview with Pakistani sports website, the 48-year-old stated, “I will not let external forces dictate how I go about doing my business and I will certainly be blocking out all that external noise.”
Arthur, who is famously known for his successful five-year long stint with South Africa as head coach, laid a great emphasis on the creation of an environment which encourages players to enjoy the game.
“I want to stimulate the players in the right way and ensure they are enjoying their cricket and are performing. The important thing is that when people enjoy their cricket they get the best out of themselves,” he said.
Arthur aims to utilise the talent of the national side to the fullest and has already devised future plans and goals.
“You have to crawl before you walk or run and I guess that’s where we are at the moment. I will keep assessing those goals as we move up the food chain and obviously the more I’m into the job, the more I’ll be able to assess the goals and standards we want,” he said.
The newly appointed chief selector, Inzamam-ul-Haq, announced a 35-men probable squad for the tour of England days before Mickey Arthur’s appointment earlier this month. Former head coach Waqar Younis had recommended to the Pakistan Cricket Board to include the head coach in the selection panel in his report in the wake of Pakistan’s deplorable run during the ICC World T20 earlier this year.
To a question regarding the inclusion of the cricket team’s head coach in the selection panel, Arthur responded, “Yes I agree with Waqar. The Head Coach should certainly be privy to the selection panel. Whether he has a vote or not is immaterial because it never really gets down to a vote as it’s normally just a general good discussion. I think the Head Coach has a role to play on that panel but it’s also good in some instances that you have people who are part of the team environment also selecting, otherwise you select for now and forget about the future.”
The Johannesburg-born first-class cricketer’s looks to implement the experience he has garnered over the years in his various coaching roles and his favourite aspect of the national side is its bowling department.
“With both pace and spin there is certainly enough depth there for this bowling attack to be very good. Pakistan have produced a lot of good quick bowlers and they continue to do that and they also have some really good spin bowlers and that clearly gives them the advantage and edge at the moment.”
On a question regarding Shahid Afridi’s chances of returning to international cricket, Arthur hailed the flamboyant all-rounder’s services for Pakistan cricket.
“Shahid’s been a fantastic player for Pakistan for many years so you don’t discard phenomenal players like that very easily. If we think there is a role for him we will certainly bring him back but that’s a discussion for the future and another time,” he said.
Arthur is expected to join the national team by the end of this month.
Pakistan plans to arrive at English shores a month prior to the beginning of the Test series for a two-week long training camp at Rose Bowl cricket ground in Hampshire.
Pakistan will play England in four Tests, five One-Day Internationals (ODI), and a T20 International from July 14 till September 7. The tour will also see Pakistan take on the ICC associate member nation Ireland for two-match ODI series sandwiched between the Test and ODI series against England.