It’s a mixed feeling for Pakistan coach Mickey Arthur after the end of World Cup campaign
Arthur also had a word of praise for Sarfaraz's captaincy saying he did well to lead a resurgence following the devastating loss against India.
Updated - Jan 2, 2020 7:10 pm
Amid all the disappointment, Pakistan coach Mickey Arthur will also be a relieved man now that their World Cup campaign is over. The 51-year-old South African-born Arthur was under tremendous pressure after the Men in Green were off to a poor start in the competition, winning just one of their first five matches. They improved the performance a few notches by winning the last four games but yet could not make it to the last four, thanks to an inferior net run-rate to New Zealand, the team that finished at No.5 in the points table.
Pakistan had to depend on other teams like India and New Zealand to beat England to keep their hopes alive but none of them succeeded in defeating the hosts and that paved the way for Pakistan’s ouster. They still could make it by beating Bangladesh by over 300 runs or more but Sarfaraz Ahmed’s side didn’t go for the nearly-impossible task and finished their campaign with a 94-run win.
Arthur, whose contract as the head coach ends after the tournament, conceded it was a disappointing conclusion to a campaign that saw a roller-coaster ride. Once Pakistan won the match against South Africa at Lord’s on June 23, a week after their humiliating loss to arch-rivals India, Arthur had even said that he wanted to commit suicide after that defeat.
“It hasn’t ended as we would have liked to have ended it. It’s been a campaign of ifs and buts,” the coach said while talking to the reporters. “If we have a look through our first five games and we have a look through our last five, it’s a campaign of two halves, which has been disappointing.”
Pakistan had thought of going for the improbable ask against Bangladesh
Pakistan went on to beat New Zealand, Afghanistan and Bangladesh after beating South Africa to also finish on 11 points, like the Black Caps. But a poorer net run-rate eliminated them from the fray. Arthur stated that Pakistan had thought of going for the improbable against Bangladesh but the slowness of the pitch thwarted their plan.
“I’d be lying if I said it wasn’t a discussion. We won the toss, which was a good start. Getting 400 is a platform. The message we got from Fakhar (Zaman) when he came back in the change room was it was slow and tough to score,” Arthur said.
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He also admitted that the loss to the West Indies in the very first game had badly hurt Pakistan’s campaign. They were shot out for only 105 in the match and lost it by seven wickets.
He though took consolation from the fact that Pakistan beat two of the top four teams in the competition: England and New Zealand. Arthur also had a word of praise for Sarfaraz’s captaincy saying he did well to lead a resurgence following the devastating loss against India that had put the Pakistani players under huge pressure.