Cricket overhaul

Fresh faces, newer ideas

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The Pakistan Cricket Board has decided not to renew contracts of any of the coaching staff. They shall announce for a fresh recruitment process soon.

The contracts of head coach Mickey Arthur, bowling coach Azhar Mahmood, batting coach Grant Flower and trainer Grant Luden have either expired or shall expire soon. The Selection Committee members and chief selector Inzimamul Haq have already indicated their intentions not to continue in their role anymore.

Mickey Arthur though has expressed his disappointment over the move had a mixed- bag stint with the Pakistan cricket team. “I am extremely disappointed and hurt …I did my wholehearted effort to lift Pakistan cricket,” he said. Arthur joined Pakistan in May 2016. The high point in his stay came when Pakistan won the Champions Trophy in England in June 2017 beating their archrival India. Soon after the CT 2017, Pakistan went downhill in ODIs as well in the last two years. Under Arthur, Pakistan won only 29 of 66 ODIs.

Pakistan also became and stayed world number one in Twenty20 cricket which is no feat considering what Pakistan is capable of doing with itself. In Tests, however, Pakistan performed extremely poorly. In all, Pakistan won 10 out of 28 Tests under Arthur, losing 17 and drawing one. Although it came close to winning certain matches against New Zealand in the UAE and South Africa on the latter’s home grounds, but caved, come the crucial moment.

There is also an ongoing debate with regards to some senior players like Shoaib Malik and Mohammad Hafeez. The news is they may not get central contract. This in fact was the time for them to call time on their cricket careers but making a right call at the right time is not everyone’s strong point. Re captaining the team in various formats, there are various formulas circulating but the PCB is silent on that.

The move to bring in new faces with fresher ideas is a welcome one. The PCB should hand out contracts that should be renewed after annual assessment. Three years is too long a time and we have too many aspirants in the country who want to contribute to the Pakistan cricket.