Young sensation Shadab Khan’s form with the bat not only cost hosting teams; Ireland and England some substantial runs but also cost Pakistan head coach Mickey Arthur a sizeable chunk of his pocket.
Before the commencement of Pakistan’s tour of the United Kingdom (UK), Arthur and Shadab had placed a bet between them.
Former South Africa and Australia head coach had challenged Shadab to deliver with the bat in the testing conditions of UK. Little he would have realised that the off-spinner would exceed all the expectations.
Shadab had bet his coach he would score three half-centuries in Pakistan’s three Tests against Ireland and England.
Well, just like many, Arthur would have also thought that Shadab would find it tough to keep up his promise. But the Pakistan star went on to prove his coach as well as other detractors wrong.
The 19-year-old Shadab started the tour by scoring a half-century against Ireland in Malahide.
Moreover, he did not wait long to make Arthur realise he was on the right track as he raised a finger in his direction in the dressing room.
On the tour of England, he did even better, finishing the series as Pakistan’s second highest run scorer. More importantly, he went on to win the bet.
The fifty in Malahide was followed by another gritty half-century at Lord’s. The finger-show soon started as Shadab gestured towards Arthur, showing the number of the fifties on tour.
Shadab went on to score another in the last Test in Leeds and won the bet. As a result, Arthur had to take the whole team out for a meal.
Well, the Pakistan team would have been glad to lose such a bet. At a time when Pakistan’s middle-order is so fragile, seeing Shadab performing so well would have been so heartening.
Meanwhile, under the tutelage of Mickey Arthur, the tour was also promising for Sarfraz Ahmed and his men. They won the One-off Test in Ireland before squaring the series in England.