(Disclaimer: this is a work of fiction. Learn to take a joke; you’ll live longer.)
LAHORE – Mickey Arthur said he was “disappointed” as he was axed as Pakistan coach on Wednesday. Arthur, who has been linked with a move to England, said he was also “shocked” by the decision of the Pakistan Cricket Board given the results that the side produced under him.
“I am extremely hurt,” the South African told The Dependent shortly after the Pakistan Cricket Board announced his departure. “But more critically I am jolted by the decision, I just cannot believe it – after I put in my wholehearted effort to lift Pakistan cricket – after I coached the side to its first Test series defeats in the UAE and the longest ODI losing streak.”
Arthur, whose contract expired after last month’s World Cup, said he had asked for a two-year extension and was actually expecting the PCB to double that extension.
“Let’s not forget we finished fifth at the World Cup – which shows a clear upward trajectory two years after the Champions Trophy win. The high achievement was a result of putting entire focus on the World Cup, the preparation of which included that 11 ODI losing streak,” he added.
The former Pakistan coach also criticised the double standards of his critics. “It’s unfair that they overlook the ODI clean sweeps that Pakistan gave to Zimbabwe, West Indies and Sri Lanka, but keep pointing towards the ODI clean sweeps that Pakistan received from New Zealand, Australia and England,” he said.
Arthur, however, conceded that he will take fond memories and major achievements along with him from his time in Pakistan. “Pakistan became the number one side in Tests two months after I joined, as recognition of the successes that the team had had in the longest format the two years before I joined,” he maintained.
The South African said should the PCB change its mind, he is open to taking up Pakistan’s coaching role again. “Even if it’s just for the T20s – if we can have different captains and different players for different formats, why not different coaches?”