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Have Pakistan Done The Right Thing By Removing Mickey Arthur?

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The arrival of the passionate pragmatist, Mickey Arthur

Mickey Arthur first took up the mantle of the coach of the Pakistan Cricket Team back in 2016. This was a time when the often controversial and generally surprising team were on the verge of new developments. Legends like Misbah and Younis were nearing the end of their stellar careers.
Young talents like Fakhar Zaman and Babar Azam had only just arrived in the team, keen to forge strong careers. Pakistan were hot at the back of a disastrous T20 World Cup that eventually saw Shahid Afridi, who left the game a couple of summers before, being sacked as the captain.
In parallel to his appointment as the coach, was Sarfaraz Ahmed’s appointment as the national team’s T20 captain. The ODI and Test captaincy would soon follow.
In some ways, therefore, one could say that together Mickey Arthur and Sarfaraz Ahmed were going to right some wrongs that had engulfed cricket in the region. The biggest controversy, nonetheless, had been the Mohd. Amir fixing scandal that had darkened their cricket, bringing a malicious name to the sport altogether but it didn’t happen on Mickey Arthur’s watch.
The call for a reinvigorated, attacking team that could prove its mettle in overseas conditions were loud.

And so Mickey Arthur responded

 

Mickey Arthur
Source: Twitter

 
Although it could be said that the tenure of the wise, determined coach from South Africa has been a mixed one, there being as many successes as there have been eyesores, the most formidable response his appointment yielded came in 2017.
Just when few gave Pakistan a chance or let’s say, an outside chance at the ICC Champions Trophy, the second-biggest showstopping event of the sport, the lifted the trophy, beating none other than Virat Kohli’s India, amid lakhs and lakhs of stunned fans.
On Mickey Arthur’s watch, Pakistan, rusty and unpredictable that they may have looked, seemed safe. Moreover, it wasn’t just their successes in the limited-overs format that fetched them good reviews. Their T20 performances improved by a long yard.
Toward 2017-end, Pakistan arose to the top of the MRF Tyres ICC Team T20 rankings, the highest position Pakistan cricket achieved in the aftermath of the 2016’s fidgety campaign.
Above anything else, Pakistan cricket showed a sense of putting up a good fight, sticking along strongly, instead of entrapped by divisive intra-team clans or rivalries, admittedly during Afridi and Shoaib’s times.
More successes came in Tests too, most memorably the 2-1 series win in the Caribbean. In what was a perfect culmination of wise, experienced men carrying the team on their shoulders, under coach Arthur’s guidance and thanks to Younis and Misbah’s experience, Pakistan beat the West Indies in Tests.
But as the team charts a new roadmap ahead, particularly in the direction of availing what now seems is the best of its homegrown talent, there’s no place for the man who brought in some positive change. Mickey Arthur’s contract hasn’t been renewed by the PCB.
Along with his departure comes the exit of other coaching staff and specialists who spent a great deal of time with Sarfaraz’ unit. Grant Luden and Grant Flower. The decision comes following a review process undertaken in the aftermath of the World Cup, where Pakistan failed to reach the semi-finals.
PCB Chairman, Ehsan Mani thanked the above-mentioned triumvirate for their contributions to the Pakistani cricket. The only question that remains unanswered now is whether the team will opt for another foreign coach or will a legend from the pantheon of Pakistani greats will be elected to lead the team in its future direction?

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Dev Tyagi
Dev Tyagi
Dravid believer, admirer of - the square drive, Drew Barrymore, Germany, Finland, Electric Mobility, simplicity and the power of the written word! Absolutely admire contributing to KyroSports

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