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Arthur wants Pakistan players to ‘express their characters’

Arthur wants Pakistan players to ‘express their characters’

Pakistan’s newly appointed coach John Michael alias Mickey Arthur seemed in no mood to follow strict measures in an attempt to turn around the ailing condition of the national team’s dressing room.

The South African, instead, looked forward to adjust with the available lot of players and apply methods to integrate ‘fun’ with his coaching techniques.

While talking to DawnNews on Tuesday, Arthur believed the only way for the Pakistan players to perform, who come with natural flair and flamboyance, is to go out and express themselves on the field.

“I will give players roots to grow and wings to fly,” he maintained.

“That means really good technique and mental and physical toughness which will allow them to express their characters because that’s when players play at their best,” added the 47-year-old.

Arthur, who successfully coached South Africa from 2005-2010 before migrating to Australia, replaced Waqar Younis, who resigned following Pakistan's disastrous World Twenty20 campaign in India last month.

His appointment is part of the wholesale changes Pakistan made in an attempt to lift the team, which has slumped to ninth in one-day and seventh in Twenty20 rankings.

“I don’t want the players to have any fear of failure at all,” said Arthur. “I want to bring in really structured and good environment which is conducive to excellence.”

Arthur was sacked as Australia’s coach after a dismal Ashes 2013 campaign and failure during the India tour.

The reasons of the sacking, reportedly, were dressing room conflicts and controversies involving the coach.

However, Arthur believed that although the Pakistan job comes as a challenging one, he would be able to bring in progress.

“It’s a job I’m looking forward to and I think I can make a difference,” he said. “I’m very confident that Pakistan’s performance will improve under my coaching.”

Pakistan dropped down to the ninth position in the ICC ODI Rankings recently and fear the prospect of having to play the World Cup qualifiers round before the biggest global cricket event kicks off in England next year.

The team’s new coach said that he will give it all to help Pakistan to reach a safer position in the rankings before it’s too late for the Azhar Ali led side.

In contrast, Arthur was quite content about the performance of the Test side which is captained by a more experienced Misbah-ul-Haq.

However, the former South Africa coach called for better performances outside UAE, which serves as Pakistan’s ‘home’, as they look forward to two high-profile full tours to England and Australia in the upcoming months.

“The Test team is fine and going along very well — but my priority for them will be to improve performance outside UAE,” he said

“Like England where the ball will seam and bounce which can become an issue.

The seaming ball though, will help Pakistan too as Arthur said the side’s bowling department ‘is in good shape’.

“In overseas conditions, obviously, fielding and fitness need to improve too,” he added.

Pakistan kick off their England tour with the first Test at on July 14, which will be followed by three more Tests, five one-dayers and a Twenty20 International.

They will also tour Australia in December for three Tests and five ODIs.

Despite retiring from the Test and ODI formats, Pakistan’s star all-rounder Shahid Afridi holds his relevance as an important Twenty20 cricketer.

The right-hander stepped down as the skipper of the shortest format of the game after a disastrous World T20 campaign in March but is still available for selection whenever Pakistan play T20 games.

However Mickey Arthur believed that Afridi’s selection is a matter that has to be looked into before final decisions are made.

“Its good that Shahid Afridi will play T20 Cricket in England,” said Arthur about the all-rounder’s upcoming stint with Hampshire.

“He is a wonderful Cricketer and we all know about it but his future with Pakistan Cricket is something we will have to check.

“I will discuss this with the selection committee in a proper way,” added the former Australia coach.

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