Arthur looks to make Amir ‘the best he can be’

Pakistan Observer - - SPORTS -

LA­HORE—New Pak­istan coach Mickey Arthur has promised to do ev­ery­thing in his power to help dis­graced pace­man Mo­ham­mad Amir re­alise his full po­ten­tial af­ter the bowler was granted a visa for the team’s up­com­ing tour of England.

Amir will re­turn to England six years af­ter a spot-fix­ing scan­dal in a Lord’s Test re­sulted in bans and jail sen­tences for the then teenage bowler and his for­mer team mates Sal­man Butt and Mo­ham­mad Asif.

“He served his time, he’s done it,” Arthur, who coached Amir at Karachi Kings in Pak­istan Su­per League (PSL), said in his first news con­fer­ence since suc­ceed­ing Waqar You­nis in the post.

“I had Amir in the PSL, he was a fan­tas­tic pro­fes­sional.

“Other stuff is not rel­e­vant to me. The stuff that’s rel­e­vant to me is mak­ing Mo­ham­mad Amir the best he can pos­si­bly be as a crick­eter.”

Amir’s re­turn af­ter serv­ing a fiveyear ban was ini­tially re­sented by some of his team mates but the 24-year-old left-arm pace­man has en­joyed steady sup­port from the Pak­istan Cricket Board (PCB).

“Peo­ple can say what they like, it’s got noth­ing to do with me,” Arthur said.

“If Mo­ham­mad Amir is picked in the Pak­istan cricket team, which he has been for the England tour, it’s my role as head coach to make him the best pos­si­ble player that he can pos­si­bly be.” Pak­istan will play four Tests, five One-Day In­ter­na­tion­als and a T20 In­ter­na­tional in England be­tween July 14 and Sept 7.

Arthur had a largely suc­cess­ful fiveyear stint as South Africa coach that ended in 2010 but en­dured an event­ful two years with the Aus­tralian team un­til his sack­ing in 2013.

His new role puts him in charge of an often frac­tious group of skilled in­di­vid­u­als but Arthur is ready for the chal­lenge.

“For me, I wanted to coach in the sub­con­ti­nent at some stage in my coach­ing ca­reer be­cause if you haven’t coached in the sub­con­ti­nent, you haven’t re­ally coached,” the 48-year-old said.

Arthur said Pak­istan, cur­rently third in the test rank­ings, need to do bet­ter in lim­ited-overs cricket and stressed the need to in­vest in play­ers with long-term prospects.—Agencies

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