Mickey Arthur Reflects On Tough Ahmedabad Showdown: Pakistan’s WC Game Against India
By CricShots - Jan 13, 2024 1:53 pm
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Mickey Arthur, the former team director of Pakistan, opened up about the challenging moments during his tenure, particularly highlighting the tough environment Pakistan faced in the ODI World Cup match against India at Ahmedabad. Reflecting on his departure after Pakistan’s failure to reach the semifinals, Arthur acknowledged the absence of Pakistani support during the World Cup and the impact it had on the players.

India Pakistan
India vs Pakistan

“It was extremely tough not having any Pakistan support. The one thing that really drives the Pakistan team is the incredible support they receive at grounds and hotels. Here we never had that, and that was quite tough in a World Cup, particularly for the players,” Mickey Arthur stated.

Ahmedabad, in particular, presented a hostile environment for the team. Despite the challenges, Arthur commended the players for not complaining and giving their best. However, he acknowledged that the lack of a visible and audible support base affected the team’s motivation.

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Pakistan’s World Cup campaign was marred by off-field turmoil, including reports of dressing room discord and leaked WhatsApp conversations involving then-captain Babar Azam. Arthur emphasized that external disturbances had no significant impact on the team, and the players remained focused on their game plan and defined roles.

“The outside noise with Pakistan is incredible; you just have to check your Twitter feed to see so many fires that are ignited out there, that have absolutely no truth attached to them,” Mickey Arthur remarked. He clarified that there were no major disagreements within the team and that the players were united in their approach.

Mickey Arthur
Mickey Arthur

Defending his decision to simultaneously work with the Pakistan team and hold a position with English county Derbyshire, Arthur dismissed claims of being an “online coach” by former Pakistan players, calling such remarks “unbelievably ignorant.” He clarified that he was in constant contact with the coaching staff, and actively involved in the team’s affairs.

Arthur expressed trust in Najam Sethi, the former PCB Chairman, and revealed that his return to Pakistan cricket was influenced by their strong relationship. He credited Sethi for allowing him to return to international cricket after being sacked by Australia.

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Offering advice to the PCB, Arthur emphasized the need for a stable system to foster player trust in the structure and selection process. He warned against constant change and instability, which could lead players into a self-protective mode, focusing on individual performance rather than team objectives.

“If it’s constant change and instability, players go into self-protection mode, and they end up playing for themselves, just thinking about the next tour,” Mickey Arthur stated, expressing frustration at the lack of continuity and honest communication within the system.