Lahore: Pakistan head coach Mickey Arthur on Wednesday opined what left-arm pacer Mohammad Amir needs to do to get back into international cricket.
The 26-year-old pacer has been out of form for the past few months after playing nearly non-stop since the ban on him ended in 2016.
Arthur, in an exclusive interview to PakPassion, said that Amir is following up on the information that the former Pakistan all-rounder Azhar Mahmood and he have sent through to him.
“We (Mahmood and Arthur) monitor Amir’s progress. Every time he bowls, we look at the videos and send our comments back to him. Let’s be clear about the fact that Amir is a quality bowler, he has a big-match temperament and I am hoping that we can have him back in the fold, sooner rather than later, provided he gives us the ammunition to pick him,” Arthur said.
“It’s runs for batsmen which is the criteria for selection and similarly, it is wickets for bowlers which are important. If we can get Amir swinging the ball again, getting through his action and be very comfortable with the hunger and desire to win games for Pakistan, then Amir has a big future with the side,” he added.
Talking about Pakistan’s victory over Australia in two-Test match series by 1-0 and three-match Twenty20 series by 3-0, Arthur said, “Having coached Australia and then defeating them here in the UAE was a very special feeling not just for me but for all of us. I was particularly pleased about the very special cricket we played across all formats during the series.”
Meanwhile, discussing Bangladesh’s 37-run and first ever win over Pakistan in the 50-over format in the semi-finals of the Asia Cup, Arthur said,” We were certainly very focused, and we trained incredibly hard for the tournament. It was one of the competitions where I saw for the first time a little bit of a lack of confidence within the side. This very young team were playing with a huge weight of responsibility and expectations and we did not deal with that pressure particularly well.”
“Since the Asia Cup, I have been so proud of the way the boys have played their cricket. We sat down and had a proper group conversation about what we did in the Asia Cup. In that tournament, we were scared, and we showed a fear of failure for the first time,” he added.
Arthur, who was appointed as Pakistan’s head coach in May 2016, was already the coach for Karachi Kings, a team in the Pakistan Super League (PSL).
Speaking on Chairman of Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) Ehsan Mani’s decision that the governing board should consist of capable individuals whose experiences will be used to for the betterment of Pakistani cricket, Arthur said he would love to renew his contract with Pakistan. “And when I renew, this will be a point which we will need to sit down and debate upon.”
“For the time being, my association with Karachi Kings and my position as head coach is agreed upon and written into my current contract. As I have said before, I am professional enough to do my job properly. Pakistan is my priority, and for me to be working with other young players, whether they belong to Karachi Kings or to another team, and to see them play with or against my PSL side has to be good thing and it makes sense for the national coach of Pakistan to be involved in this type of activity,” he said.
“It allows me a platform to see all the young talent from Pakistan and to work with them. So, I think this is a bonus for Pakistan, and for people who think I am going to be involved in some sort of skulduggery is just balderdash. I am only here for the betterment of Pakistan cricket. I am so passionate about Pakistan cricket that I would never ever put myself in a position where there will be a conflict of interest,” Arthur added.
Pakistan are currently playing a three-match Test series against New Zealand, wherein New Zealand won the first Test by four runs while Pakistan won by an innings and 16 runs in the second Test. Both the sides will meet for the third and final Test on December 3 in Abu Dhabi.