Wise words: Arthur hits all the right notes in his first presser
KARACHI: An assured Mickey Arthur — Pakistan’s new head coach — stressed in his first media talk that he wants the team to get rid of their fear of failure, enabling the players to play to the best of their abilities.
“I want the Pakistan team to believe in themselves and get rid of their fear of failure,” stressed Arthur while addressing his first press conference in Lahore. “I don’t care if they fail and make mistakes because professional people make mistakes. As long as we are learning from those mistakes, I’ll be happy. I don’t want my team to fear failure.”
Athur added that he is ready to back the players and claimed he already has a blueprint for the future. “We will give the players the opportunity and licence to play their best cricket,” he said. “I’ve got a plan regarding where we want to take the team as I’ve watched Pakistan cricket, coached against them and coached in the Pakistan Super League (PSL) where I saw first-hand how skillful these players are. It’s up to us to give our players roots to grow and wings to fly.”
Pakistan players shouldn’t fear failure: Mickey Arthur
The 48-year-old also took some critical questions on the chin as he reflected on the times things didn’t work out for him, stating that if you have never been fired then you have never coached a side.
He also added that it was his target to coach in the sub-continent at some point. “The passion of the Pakistani public towards cricket was a big attraction for me to take this role up,” he said.
And Arthur is looking to improve cricket in Pakistan in the long run as well. “I’ve had fruitful discussions with the selectors and Mushtaq Ahmad about young players that are coming up,” he said. “The idea is to find players who can be long-term servants and when we identify them, we need to invest [in them] and remain consistent with our selection and this is how the team will go from strength to strength.”
Mickey Arthur arrives in Pakistan
Athur made no bones about the challenges that lie ahead in the limited-over formats. “Our Test team is very good at the moment but we need to improve our rankings in the ODI and T20I formats,” he said. “The challenge is to get the team to play well outside the subcontinent because we’ve got a series against England, while we also play in Australia and New Zealand this year.”
The head coach said his first target is to get to England and spend two weeks with the team to prepare for whatever The Three Lions will throw at them in the upcoming tour.
Arthur said he feels Pakistan’s strength is their bowling but they need to improve on their fielding as well as their batting outside sub-continental conditions.
Test squad for England tour
He also praised Mohammad Amir as a top professional from his own experience with the Karachi Kings in PSL. “I’m only interested in my player and all the other stuff is irrelevant to me because he has served his time,” he said, discussing Amir’s return to cricket after a five-year ban. “If Amir is in the team, it’s my role to make him the best player [he can be]. As far as Umar Akmal, Shahid Afridi and Ahmad Shahzad are concerned, they are all unbelievably talented players. It’s an issue with selectors and that’s up to them. Ultimately it’s the role of the selectors to name a team in consultation with me and the captain.”
In an interesting revelation, Arthur said he will also speak to former head coach Waqar Younis before leaving for the tour of England.