Mickey Arthur has been waxing lyrical of late about Shadab Khan’s potential as an allrounder and the need to invest in his talent. He probably wouldn’t have counted on some of the investment coming out of his own pocket, though, as Shadab outperformed the high bar Arthur sets his players.
According to Cricinfo, after being pressed by Arthur to improve his batting before the start of the UK tour, Shadab, with his characteristic self-confidence – watch the Yuvraj Singh lbw review in the Champions Trophy final – bet his coach he would score three half-centuries in Pakistan’s three Tests against Ireland and England.
Inevitably, almost, Shadab began to tick them down. He scored a half-century against Ireland in Malahide, raising a finger in the direction of Arthur in the dressing room. That was followed by one at Lord’s at which point Shadab had the once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to show his coach two fingers and get away without a fine. The fifty in Pakistan’s first innings in Leeds sealed the bet for Shadab, which meant Arthur had to take the whole team out for a meal.
Given how angry Arthur appeared after Pakistan’s limp performance at Headingley, Shadab may have wondered if they were better off not spending an extra few hours with their coach after all.