Mickey Arthur will not take up the reins as Pakistan’s next head coach after the ongoing talks between him and the Pakistan Cricket Board fell through.
In a statement, the governing body of Cricket in Pakistan confirmed its negotiations with the former head coach of the national side. But also confirmed that talks have now ended due to his other commitments.
PCB was keen on bringing back Arthur for the 2023 ACC Asia Cup, ICC Men’s Cricket World Cup 2023, ICC Men’s T20 World Cup 2024 and the ICC Champions Trophy 2025 but his contract with Derbyshire proved to be a hurdle which could not be overcome.
A middle ground was also considered which would have seen the 54-year-old return in a consultancy role but those plans also failed to materialise.
The board will now resume its search for a replacement for Saqlain Mushtaq who will leave his post at the end of February when his contract is up.
Saqlain, since taking over in September 2021, has guided Pakistan to the semi-finals and then the final of two successive T20 World Cups but a poor home season coupled with the changes in PCB effectively signalled his end.
Pakistan’s love affair with Mickey Arthur:
Arthur was a popular choice to replace Saqlain with Najam Sethi also keen on re-appointing the man who led Pakistan to the 2017 Champions Trophy.
His first stint from 2016 to 2019 saw Pakistan emerge as one of the premier limited-overs teams in the world.
Babar Azam, Fakhar Zaman, Shadab Khan, and Sarfaraz Ahmed all flourished during his term with the Green shirts also reaching the No. 1 position on ICC’s T20I rankings.
His dismissal and the appointment of Misbah ul Haq in his place left a bad taste in Pakistani fans’ mouths especially after the former captain failed to replicate his predecessor’s success.
Despite the willingness of each party involved, Arthur could not make time after signing a four-year deal with Derbyshire.
PCB will now look for alternatives.