Arthur likely to be retained until 2020 T20 World Cup

 

LAHORE: Head coach Mickey Arthur is most likely to be retained till the 2020 T20 World Cup as Pakistan Cricket Board’s cricket committee meets here on Friday to discuss the performance of national team and its officials during the last four years. The committee will then forward its recommendations to PCB chairman Ehsan Mani to decide on head coach, and new national selection committee, Dawn learnt on Thursday.

As deciding national team’s captaincy is the authority of PCB chairman and does not come under the domain of the cricket committee, the primary focus of today’s meeting in Lahore will be on giving recommendations on the formation of the new selection committee and the future of national head coach.

While Arthur has already offered his services to the PCB for an extension, Dawn has learnt that the head coach has received good support from certain quarters having significant weight in PCB’s decision-making.

PCB cricket committee meets today

The T20 World Cup is scheduled to be hosted by Australia in October-November 2020.

Though Pakistan failed to qualify for the recently-held ICC World Cup semi-final on the basis of lower net run-rate compared to New Zealand, the team did stage a comeback in the mega event after taking a sluggish start which is being considered a notable achievement (of the team) by the lobby supporting Arthur’s case. Furthermore, the same lobby has also raised the point of Pakistan winning the 2017 ICC Champions Trophy under Arthur.

As Inzamam-ul-Haq has already announced after the World Cup that he is no more seeking the post of chief selector, the cricket committee will have to come up with the recommendations for a new selection team. The interested cricketers in this regard are lobbying in Islamabad which it seems will play a key role in deciding the next chief selector.

During a recent media talk, PCB managing director Wasim Khan said two models were being considered for the selection panel. First is the existing model comprising a chairman of selection committee along with three members while the second one consists of a selection chief with head coaches of the proposed new domestic system of six provincial teams acting as the members of the selection panel.

Interestingly, the new proposed domestic system presently is in its very initial stage. Therefore, the chances of the second model being introduced for naming the new selection committee looks slim since Pakistan’s next international assignment is not that far. They are scheduled to face Sri Lanka in a home Test series this October.

Under the new system proposed for domestic cricket, six provincial outfits will feature in first-class cricket instead of the present 16 teams (eight from departments and as many of the regions). However, as the overhauling proposal is still in its initial phase, it looks it will not be possible for the PCB to shift to it this year.

Meanwhile, there will be no media briefing after Friday’s meeting of the cricket committee.

The meeting will be chaired by Wasim Khan while former Pakistan captain Misbah-ul-Haq and women’s skipper Urooj Mumtaz will attend the meeting as the committee members.

Former Pakistan captain Wasim Akram, another member of the committee however, is unable to attend today’s meeting, but he will speak through video-link. Three PCB officials — director international Zakir Khan, director domestic Haroon Rasheed and director academies Mudassar Nazar — will attend the gathering as ex-officio members.

“Inzamam-ul-Haq, Mickey Arthur and Sarfraz Ahmed will [also] attend the meeting,” a PCB press release stated.

“The agenda of the PCB cricket committee meeting includes review of Pakistan men’s and women’s teams as well as U-16 and U-19 teams’ performances and make recommendations to the PCB chairman.”

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