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Arthur reveals his biggest challenge as Pakistan head coach

South African has been working in the role for more than two years

PHOTO: REUTERS

Pakistan Head Coach Mickey Arthur has revealed his biggest challenge as the head coach of the Men in Green.

Arthur was appointed as Pakistan head coach in May 2016 and so far during his tenure, the team has steadily grown to become one of the better sides in world cricket with the highest point being the ICC Champions Trophy victory in 2017.

The South African said that one of his biggest challenges as Pakistan coach was to bring transparency in the dressing room — which is constantly riddled by controversies.

“To make sure we have a healthy atmosphere in the team has been one of our goals,” said Arthur while talking to Gulf News. “We wanted to be a team, exactly that. It’s a cliché they say, as there is no ironed team, but it is not. We play our best cricket when we play as a team.”

He added: “It is a great team environment and that is something they have worked hard at. It is tough, it is hard and it is competitive, but people enjoy each other’s success as well. They all want a consistent message, clear communication and they want honesty and that’s what the environment is giving them at the moment.”

Arthur also swept aside the comments made by critics by stating that he isn’t too bothered about what people say regarding team’s performance.

“I just don’t read or listen to it [critics],” he said. “I have always said we are going to play well and we going to play badly. And I have not got issues when people criticise as long as we don’t play well. That’s part and parcel of the game. I love it and that’s how it should be.”

The 50-year-old also said that he has support from the players and team management which has been helpful in ensuring that his stint with the Pakistan team has been a rewarding one so far.

“The journey has been fantastic and great, I have loved every moment of it,” he said. “It is so good to see us get better and better. We are playing the brand of cricket we want to, so it’s been great with all the support staff and players.”

Arthur has previously coached, both, South Africa and Australia cricket teams but he believes that his coaching career would have remained incomplete if he had not worked with a sub-continent side.

“I was not sceptical coming to Pakistan. I took the job because I was really excited about it. As I have always said, I don’t think you have coached if you have not coached in the subcontinent. Coming to Pakistan has been unbelievable. It is the best thing of my career.”

Arthur also stressed on the importance of long-term planning and the smooth flow of ideas between him and captain Sarfraz Ahmed.

“One of the things you get caught up as a coach is thinking short-term,” he said. “For me I got to be always thinking long term, because the planning for now is already been done if that make sense. My mind is already thinking for South Africa and for the World Cup. If I’m thinking long term, then Safi is thinking for the now. With him and I sharing ideas all the time, it makes things easy.”