After CT triumph, Mickey Arthur now wants ultimate success in 2019 World Cup

After CT triumph, Mickey Arthur now wants ultimate success in 2019 World Cup

Very recently, Arthur landed in Pakistan for the first time after winning the ICC Champions Trophy 2017.

Mickey Arthur
Pakistan’s head coach Mickey Arthur. (Photo by GLYN KIRK/AFP/Getty Images)

It was not long ago when all the cricket analysts and experts were making a list of favourites to win the Champions Trophy 2017. What was common in every list was the fact that Pakistan was never considered a contender. Only a few Pakistani cricket enthusiasts were courageous enough to put their money on the green shirts. After the humiliating drubbing against India in their first match, even the most optimistic of the fans dared to dream.

But one person had his hope alive! Ultimately one day, it was his dream that manifested into reality, when Sarfraz Ahmed was holding the prestigious silverware. Mickey Arthur, the head coach of the Pakistan team, has already forgotten about the history his boys created a month ago. The leader of the pack now has sights fixed on the biggest trophy, the 50 overs World Cup.

After bulldozing Virat Kohli and his boys in the final match, the Pakistani players boarded the flight that was heading towards home. The only person missing in the flight was Arthur, who instead decided to go to Western Australia to spend some time with his family. Very recently, the authoritarian returned to Pakistan, not to be a part of celebrations that he had missed but to strategize his next move.

“It has been over a month and the euphoria has died down and I have been plotting and planning our next move. It felt really good to win an ICC event with this young team as it reaffirms the brand of cricket that we have to play to be successful and that the road we are on is the right one. The emotions were amazing straight after the final when the magnitude of what we achieved sunk in,” said Arthur while speaking to Cricbuzz.

“To come from a real low after our first game to win the tournament was a testament to the character and resilience of everyone involved. It was so important for Pakistan and the country and to see the country rejoice in the win was very special for all of us. The scenes were quite amazing straight after the game and when the players arrived back (in Pakistan),” the former Proteas cricketer recalled.

The 49-year old is now looking to be a part of another history, which will be lifting the most prestigious trophy. “I really hope this is a breakout phase for us and we all believe in the direction we have taken and know that in order to have success we have to really do the hard yards in our preparation and that includes fitness and eating well. It should not be a challenge motivating the boys after this because this will and should be seen as just the stepping stone to more hard work and ultimate success in the World Cup in 2019. We have to be realistic as well and know that we are not the finished article yet and have a long way to go in growth, both personally and as a team,” said Arthur.

Hard-task master Arthur pays a lot of attention to the team’s performance in the field. For this, he sent back Umar Akmal from England as he was declared unfit. Pakistan’s performance, as far as fielding is concerned, was highly praised in the tournament barring just the first match. The man from Transvaal credits fielding coach Steve Rixon for the betterment in fielding standards.

Arthur thanks Inzamam-ul-Haq for backing him

The coach praised chairman of selectors and former Pakistani captain Inzamam-ul-Haq for having the faith in him. “I am absolutely loving this job and really enjoying seeing the players improve and progress so well. Our support staff and coaches are an absolute pleasure to work with and we are all very united in the direction we want to take the team. The PCB and Inzamam-ul-Haq (chief selector) have really backed us and that has made the job easier and very enjoyable,” concluded Arthur.