Published On: Fri, Jun 10th, 2016

Arthur vows to lift Pakistan cricket team to No.1

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LAHORE: Pakistan’s new head coach Mickey Arthur vowed on Thursday to lift his new team to the top of world cricket rankings as he did with his native South Africa.

He arrived in Lahore on Wednesday night to take over his new role, which had been vacant since the resignation of Waqar Younes in April following Pakistan’s disastrous first-round exit from the World Twenty20.

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“My short term plan is to create a cricket culture and the long term plan is to make the team number one in all three forms of the game,” he said.

Pakistan are currently third in Tests but their standing in limited overs cricket — ninth in one-day internationals and seventh in Twenty20 — leaves much room for improvement.

“Our Test cricket seems to be very good at the moment,” said Arthur.

“If we can play well outside the subcontinent that means that the team’s really going forward.”

The 48-year-old had a glorious coaching career with South Africa between 2005-2010, taking them to the summit of Test rankings in 2008, following series wins in England and Australia.

He also lifted them to number one in one-day cricket in 2007.

His19-month tenure as Australia’s coach ended on a bitter note when he was sacked a few days before the 2013 Ashes in England after his team crashed out of the group stages of the ICC Champions Trophy.

Arthur’s first task as Pakistan’s coach will be to help the team face an ascendant England side on their home turf in a four-match Test series starting at Lord’s on July 14.

Pakistan also have series against the West Indies in United Arab Emirates (September-October), two Tests in New Zealand (November) followed by three Tests and six one-day matches in Australia.

The South African, who has been given a two-year contract, which is negotiable after 12 months, also praised fast bowler Mohammad Amir, due to play his first Test since being convicted in a spot-fixing case on the team’s last tour to England in 2010.

“Amir is a fantastic professional,” he said. “I am only interested in making him the best and other stuff is irrelevant to me and what people say about him.”

Amir gets UK visa

Fast bowler Mohammad Amir has received a UK visa and will travel with Pakistan to England on June 18 for the four-Test cricket series.

The Pakistan Cricket Board says in a statement on Thursday that it has been “officially informed that the UK government has approved the visa” for Amir.

There was some doubt because Amir served half of his six-month jail sentence in England when he was banned for five years for spot-fixing in 2010 at Lord’s along with teammates Mohammad Asif and Salman Butt.

It will be at Lord’s on July 14 when Amir could play his first Test in six years.

About the Author

Syed Ammar Alavi

- is Lahore (Pakistan) based journalist & writer with 25-year experience in print, wire and broadcast forms of journalism. His major fields of interest are politics, film,tv,sports, climate change and technology

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