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Coaching Set-up Overhaul

PCB decide against renewing contract of Mickey Arthur

The Pakistan Cricket Board today announced it will be immediately parting ways with head coach Mickey Arthur bringing an end to his three-year stint with the senior men's team.

The major revamp of Pakistan's coaching staff means that the contracts of bowling coach Azhar Mahmood, batting coach Grant Flower and trainer Grand Luden will also not be renewed.

The changes come after a meeting of the Pakistan Cricket Committee last week where the members - PCB Managing Director Wasim Khan, Wasim Akram, Misbah ul Haq and Urooj Mumtaz - were unanimous in their recommendations.

The recommendations were forwarded to the PCB Chairman, Ehsan Mani and the board would now be "undertaking a robust recruitment process" to select the new coaching staff.

“I am thankful to the PCB Cricket Committee for submitting their recommendations following an exhaustive and detailed review process. The committee comprised of individuals who possess tremendous acumen, experience and knowledge," Mani said.

"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."

Arthur took over the reins of Pakistan team following the exit of Waqar Younis from the post of head coach in 2016 after the side's underwhelming performance in that year's edition of the World T20.

Arthur's three-year tenure featured several highs and lows and was perhaps emblematic of the mercurial nature of the Pakistan side.

His stint began remarkably well when Misbah led Pakistan to a 2-2 series draw in England, which resulted in Pakistan climbing to the summit of the Test rankings for a brief while.

The other major accomplishment during Arthur's coaching experience was when Sarfaraz Ahmed captained the side to a memorable Champions Trophy triumph in England in 2017, raising their stock in limited-overs cricket.

Arthur's mantra of increased emphasis on high fitness standards and a strict work ethic garnered praise from the cricket fraternity as it introduced a fresh culture of athleticism in the Pakistan team.

Under the current coaching staff, Pakistan vaulted up in the T20I rankings and have held the No. 1 spot for a number of months, signifying the shift to an aggressive brand of cricket.

'Disappointed and hurt'

Pakistan's lackluster run in Test cricket, especially after the retirements of Misbah and Younis Khan, and the failure of the team to qualify for the semi-finals of the 2019 World Cup have been deemed as the pivotal reasons dictating the logic behind the committee's recommendations.

Although Pakistan won their last four games on the trot in the showpiece event, their inferior net run-rate in comparison to New Zealand meant they had to face a first-round exit.

Thanking Arthur and company for their services, Mani said: “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. We wish them every success in their future endeavors."

“The PCB remains committed to its fans and followers and we will do our utmost to ensure that we make decisions that continue to move Pakistan cricket forward in all formats," he said.

However, Arthur has said he is "disappointed and hurt" to be axed from his position as head coach.

"I am extremely disappointed and hurt," the South African said promptly after PCB's decision.

Reports have suggested Arthur might be appointed as England's coach following the conclusion of the Ashes series with the departure of Trevor Bayliss.

"I did my wholehearted effort to lift Pakistan cricket," he added, stressing on his strategy of affording young players opportunities in the national side.

Under Arthur, Pakistan emerged victorious in just 10 out of 28 Test matches, losing 17 and drawing a solitary game.

Arthur's contract expires on August 15 while Pakistan's next assignment will be in October against Sri Lanka.

#CWC19#Pakistan