Sports News

Cricket: No extension for Arthur as Pakistan seek coaching revamp

LAHORE (Reuters) - Pakistan have decided not to renew head coach Mickey Arthur’s contract, the country’s cricket board (PCB) said on Wednesday, following the team’s failure to reach the semi-finals of the World Cup in England.

Cricket - ICC Cricket World Cup - Pakistan Press Conference - Emirates Old Trafford, Manchester, Britain - June 15, 2019 Pakistan coach Mickey Arthur during a press conference Action Images via Reuters/Lee Smith

Sarfaraz Ahmed’s men ended up tied with New Zealand on 11 points from nine matches but an inferior net run rate meant the Black Caps went through to the last four along with India, Australia and England while Pakistan headed home.

During the tournament, the PCB had promised a robust review and analysis of the side’s performances, and that of the team support personnel, over the past three years.

Arthur, 51, took charge of a mercurial Pakistan side in 2016 following stints with the national teams of South Africa and Australia and was keen on an extension, local media had reported.

His initial appointment was for two years but he was given an extension until the 50-over World Cup and his contract was set to expire on Aug. 15.

The PCB Cricket Committee unanimously recommended that the contracts of bowling coach Azhar Mahmood, batting coach Grant Flower and trainer Grant Luden were not renewed either.

“The committee comprised of individuals who possess tremendous acumen, experience and knowledge,” PCB Chairman Ehsan Mani said in a statement.

“The unanimous recommendation of the Committee was that it was time for new leadership and a fresh approach. I am happy to accept their strong recommendations.

“On behalf of the PCB, I want to sincerely thank Mickey Arthur, Grant Flower, Grant Luden and Azhar Mahmood for their hard work and unwavering commitment during their tenures with the national men’s team.”

The 1992 champions went into their World Cup opener against West Indies on the back of 10 straight losses and were bundled out for 105 inside 22 overs en route to a humiliating seven-wicket drubbing.

Notoriously unpredictable, they followed that defeat up in typical style in their second match, spectacularly turning the table on hosts and pre-tournament favourites England with a 14-run victory.

Four more wins followed but the margin of that opening loss ultimately proved their undoing when the final calculations were made.

Pakistan’s next assignment is a home series against Sri Lanka in October, starting with two tests that will be part of the World Test Championship.

The PCB said they would immediately advertise the four coaching roles.

Former all-rounder Mahmood said on Twitter he had given his best and was looking forward to moving on.

“It’s been a tremendous journey with @TheRealPCB. I thank them and wish them all the very best for the future of Pakistan cricket,” he tweeted.

Reporting by Sudipto Ganguly; editing by Amlan Chakraborty