Mickey Arthur set to return as Pakistan coach, hints Sethi

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LAHORE: Mickey Arthur’s appointment as the Pakistan head coach is still on the cards despite the country’s cricket board ruling it out earlier this month due to the South African’s contractual obligations with English County side Derbyshire.

But Najam Sethi, the chairman of the Pakistan Cricket Board’s interim Manag-ement Committee, said on Monday he is still negotiating with Arthur to take up the role which will be vacant when current head coach Saqlain Mushtaq’s contract expires next month.
“I never closed Mickey Arthur’s chapter and it hasn’t been closed so far as well,” Sethi said during a press conference here at the Gaddafi Stadium on Monday, where he also announced the appointment of Haroon Rashid as the chief selector.

“I am in negotiations, personally, with Mickey and I think 90 per cent of the distance has been covered and hopefully, very soon, we may give you the news that Mickey will be joining us. But as of now, it’s not settled, there are still some issues.”

Sethi hinted that Arthur, if appointed eventually, will have the authority to bring in support staff of his own choice and that the PCB will make sure it could afford them. “These issues will be resolved in the next two to three days,” said the board’s interim chief.

Following Sethi’s return at the helm of the PCB after Ramiz Raja was ousted as the chairman in Dece¬mber last year, speculations over Arthur’s appointment as the Paki¬stan head coach for a second stint had risen before Sethi confirmed he was in talks with the coach.

Those talks, however, seemed to have fallen apart when the PCB in a statement said the option to hire Arthur as either a coach or as a consultant to the PCB on a time-sharing basis with Derbyshire was proving difficult to materialise for various reasons on both sides.

During Arthur’s tenure as the Pakistan coach between 2016 and 2019, Pakistan won the ICC Champions Trophy in 2017 and became the number one side in the Twenty20 international rankings.
The 54-year-old, however, felt out of favour after Pakistan narrowly missed out on making the semi-finals of the 2019 World Cup in England. Arthur, who has also coached his native South Africa, Australia and Sri Lanka, is currently serving as the head coach of Derbyshire on a three-year contract.
Arthur’s potential return to the Pakistan camp will coincide with a fairly heavy international calendar for the side this year, which includes the 50-over World Cup in India and a tour to Australia.