Pakistan National Team Coach Micky Arthur said in a recent interview to CricBuzz that his experience with Pakistan has been ‘fantastic’.
“I love this job with them. I don’t think you’ve ever coached till you’ve coached an Asian team,” CricBuzz quoted Arthur as saying.
“The backing I have received form the PCB is second to none. They have allowed me to do what I want to do for the best. I really think that we are on the right track. I am loving this Pakistan job,” Arthur said while discussing his experience of coaching the Pakistan cricket team.
Talking about why he chose to coach an international team rather than a T20 league team, Arthur said, “When you are coaching an international team, you are running a programme for 12 months of the year. You get to influence peoples’ careers.”
He added: “The public following is so huge. We have 200 million people in Pakistan watching everything that is happening to the Pakistan cricket team — that stimulates me.”
“When you run an international programme, that’s where you make a significant contribution towards the game. I love coaching internationally because I can develop people, but it’s hard to do that in the T20 environment,” Arthur said, expressing his love for ODI cricket.
Discussing the difference between an Asian team and a Western cricket team, Arthur said that the passion, excitement and skill found in the Asian region is amazing, adding: “This is something that went through my mind after the Test series against Sri Lanka … everything is opposite in the sub-continent. It challenges you as a coach.”
“Being a coach of a Western team — like the South African team or the Australia team — we always win games with our pace. The game is quite faster to start with and then slows down,” Arthur explained.
Talking about the recent debacle Pakistan faced in Test matches against Sri Lanka, Arthur explained, “We are trying to get the right balance in terms of our [Test] team. We haven’t quite got it right as yet maybe. I love rebuilding teams. We have to rebuild the Test team now. Our Test team is at a stage where our ODI team was a year ago.”
“When you lose Misbah and Younis, you are losing so much experience and so many runs. We have to get the balance right,” he added.
Admitting the Pakistan team’s lack of skill when it comes to fielding, Arthur said that he was working with the boys to improve their technique.
“The good thing is the guys are having fun doing fielding drills. They are really enjoying their fielding. I think sometimes — excuse my words — Asian teams tend to see fielding as chill while batting and bowling are seen as the real skill,” he said
“Now we are putting so much emphasis [on fielding] because that’s the only thing we do together. When you play a game of cricket, you know you are going to field. By doing it over and over, you become more skillful and athletic,” Arthur said while talking about his plans for the team’s
Reminiscing about the team’s recent triumphs in the field, Arthur said: “When Shadab dived at cover point [in the World XI series] or when he chased the ball down and when Ahmed Shehzad took a blinder, the crowd were over the moon — that’s what fielding does to a team.”
He said: “You can see the enjoyment the boys are having on the field. They are throwing themselves.”