Following the redemption in England in June early this year, Pakistan head coach Mickey Arthur reminisced he had witnessed a lot throughout his coaching role while revealing the best standout thing that would stay etched to his memories is the Men in Green’s maiden Champions Trophy title win which came against formidable India led by Virat Kohli.
“I have thoroughly enjoyed every moment of it. If I had to encapsulate it in one word, it’s been fantastic,” Arthur told ESPNcricinfo’s The Cricket Monthly.
The 49-year-old Arthur revealed it was a tough challenge since he replaced Waqar Younis as a Pakistan coach in 2016. But he had relished the moments from time – to nurse his players which further saw the performances has taken to a new high under the tutelage of a bold coach who could be further summarized by the occasional blips.
“Yes, it has been challenging. But I’ve thoroughly, thoroughly enjoyed it,” Arthur maintained.
Moreover, Arthur feels he would miss the trick if he failed to spend the time as a coach with the Asian side while hinting his Curriculum Vitae would eventually be incomplete without finishing off his career as a cricket coach in the subcontinent.
“If I had finished my career without coaching a subcontinent side, it would’ve been a glaring miss in my CV,” Arthur explained.
Arthur, who praised the efforts of youngsters like leg-spinning all-rounder Shadab Khan and Yasir Shah for his knack of taking wickets at will. He followed it up by remarking he has learnt a lot while observing the spin bowling in general since he joined the subcontinent side in the form of Pakistan.
“I’ve learnt about spin, I’ve learnt about patience, about fields for spin. I’ve learnt a lot. That is why I say if I had finished my career without ever coaching a subcontinent team, it would’ve been a miss,” Arthur stated.
The Johannesburg-born Arthur revealed he has thoroughly supported the side under the leadership of Sarfraz Ahmed while adding the side went on with the positive approach which subsequently paid the rich dividends of late.
“And trying to just keep pushing our players to be the best they can possibly be. For me, that’s the energy of the job,” Arthur remarked.
On the other side, Arthur reiterated the players have had worked hard to make most of the opportunities, as he further observed the fielding department had seen the quality improvement.
“We just kept backing the players. All our messages were just positive. I’d get the stats out – from overs 10-40 we were knocking people over for fun. Just the positive affirmation,” Arthur added.
With little over one year for his top-profile job with Pakistan, Arthur highlighted that the young side has made things easier for him at times other than being emotionally attached with the side which is best known for its unpredictability.
“Coaching Pakistan, your game plans, especially in Test cricket, are centred around spin. The game is slow to start off with and quickens up towards the back end. It’s totally the opposite,” Arthur remarked.
Arthur has heaped praise on recently retired skipper Misbah-Ul-Haq for his patience and of playing an imperative role in gelling the unit well.
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In the past, Confident Arthur was the first-class cricketer in the Proteas fold. He added the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) has immensely supported him to implement the plans which significantly happened to prove beneficial for him as a coach.
“I’m in seventh heaven here. The PCB’s been fantastic. They’ve allowed me to grow, to implement what I want, they haven’t stood in my way in any shape or form,” Arthur concluded.
Arthur, who started off his coach role with the national side South Africa before landing into a job with Cricket Australia when Michael Clarke was at the helm for the Kangaroos.
While talking about the highlights of Arthur’s coaching stint, he saw South Africa reaching into the semi-final in 2007, before overseeing the Proteas becoming number one in ICC One-day International Rankings.
With Australia, Arthur didn’t have enough to boast about as in 2011-12, the Kangaroos routed India by 4-0 at home.
Since joining Pakistan cricket team in June 2016 as a coach, Pakistan under the leadership of calm and composed Misbah-Ul-Haq became the number in Tests after levelling the Test series 2-2 in England which further included a Champions Trophy win in England and Wales by 180 runs over arch-rivals India at the Oval.