Lahore: Mickey Arthur and Grant Bradburn, the foreign coaches attached with the Pakistan cricket team, are likely to continue in their respective roles with new chief selector Inzamam-ul-Haq conveying to the management that he is comfortable working with them.
South African Arthur was appointed as Team Director in April this year by the PCB while Bradburn came as Head Coach in May.
However there was speculation that their stints might be cut short in case the cricket technical committee, that includes Inzamam and Misbah-ul-haq, won’t give a positive response on presence of foreign recruits on the selection panel. Inzamam, according to a PCB insider, is said to have played an influential role in convincing PCB Chief Zaka Ashraf and Board’s Technical committee head Misbah-ul-Haq not to try to change the team management at this stage.
“It was Inzamam who gave positive feedback about Mickey Arthur and even Bradburn and assured the Chairman he will be able to work well with them and they can all do their best to select the best teams for coming events,” the insider said.
Inzamam, after accepting the paid position, said that he has worked before with Arthur and also knew Bradburn well.
“I have worked before as Chief Selector and formed a good understanding with Mickey. With the Asia Cup and World Cup coming up and then a Test tour to Australia it is going to be a challenge in the coming days for us,” Inzamam said.
Inzamam accepted the chief selector’s position on Monday after stepping down as a member of the Pakistan Cricket Board’s Cricket Technical Committee which is headed by another former captain, Misbah ul Haq.
Ironically Misbah was on the PCB’s cricket committee in 2019 which after the World Cup in England had recommended against extending contracts of Arthur, who was head coach and Inzamam, who was the chief selector then.
Inzamam played 120 Tests and 378 ODIs for his country and also remained the captain between 2004 and 2007 when he retired after the World Cup.
He had accepted the chief selector’s position in 2016 and worked with Arthur until 2019 when both were released by the PCB.
“I want to do a better job than I did the last time as chief selector and I am confident we have a bunch of strong players with Babar Azam as captain and if we continue to play positively like we did recently in Sri Lanka then we can move forward confidently.” He said at one stage Zaka was not happy with the terms on which his predecessor, Najam Sethi had hired Arthur and how the team director, despite remaining in England, had hand-picked his own coaching staff.
“It was Inzamam who once he came onto the cricket technical committee said Arthur was capable of delivering and would be with the team for most part of the Asia Cup and then wholly for the World Cup and tour to Australia so the PCB should back him.” The insider said Ashraf had a long discussion with Arthur on the advice of Inzamam and matters have now been settled and there would be no change in the team management.
However, there is one area where Inzamam might again face inquisitions over the selection of his nephew Imam ul Haq.
When Inzamam was chief selector the first time, Imam won his Pakistan cap and the former captain had to face a lot of queries on whether his nephew deserved to be picked ahead of other deserving players.
But at present Imam has established himself as a premier performer in 50-over cricket, boasting an average of 51.30 from 59 matches with nine hundreds and 16 half-centuries.
So one can assume Inzamam will get plenty of breathing space where the selection of Imam is concerned.