Emotional Mickey Arthur Feel Sorry for a Player like Asad Shafiq
The Head Coach of Pakistan Mickey Arthur has expressed a huge disappointment for most of the Pakistani players, who are yet to get a much-awaited chance, to perform in front of their home crowd while donning the national jersey to cheer-up their fans respectively.
“I feel so sorry for the guys who haven’t played in front of their home crowds,” Arthur was quoted as saying by PakPassion.
While speaking to the Pakistan’s radio station, the 49-year-old Johannesburg-born Arthur further singled out that he is feeling the pain for middle-order batsman Asad Shafiq, for not getting a Test game in his home-city Karachi.
“My heart goes out to Asad Shafiq who has never played a Test match in front of his home crowd in Karachi,” Arthur added.
The 31-year-old right-handed batsman Shafiq played 56 Tests for Pakistan after donning the white jersey in 2010 against South Africa at Abu Dhabi.
The solid reason behind Shafiq not playing in home conditions have been the isolation of international cricket within Pakistan after terrorist attack on Sri Lankan team bus in 2009 at Liberty Chowk in Lahore.
“They trusted the security briefing and the FICA giving them the right information,” Arthur said.
At the same time, the incident has further raised many eyebrows across the cricketing globe over the security concerns in the embattled country.
“No World XI player spoke to me before coming here; they trusted what they had been told about Pakistan,” Arthur remarked.
Arthur was delighted after witnessing the decent crowd turning to the iconic Gaddafi stadium in Lahore for the second match of the ongoing three-match Twenty20 series between the hosts Pakistan against Faf du Plessis’ World XI on September 13 (Thursday).
The former first-class batsman in South African domestic set-up Arthur was excited to see the spectators sloganeering for both the teams.
“Just to see the crowd coming in last night and the chanting was very special,” Arthur maintained.
Moreover, the crowd remained abuzz throughout the game that World XI won by seven wickets following the handy knock from Sri Lankan all-rounder Thisara Perera and quality batting by South African batting mainstay Hashim Amla.
While praising the efforts of the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) and the world governing body ICC, Arthur has been at the forefront to overhaul cricket in the country.
“There is comfort in your surroundings, your friends and family and support network is around you,” Arthur asserted.
As PCB is reported to spend around US$ 2.5 million to 3 million including the logistic expense for the major tour, Arthur echoed his words by saying it’s the massive achievement for the players, who have performed well and achieved big away from their home in general.
“For the guys to have achieved what they have achieved playing away from home is astronomical,” Arthur concluded.
The World Series was accorded an international status by ICC owing to the goodwill gesture, for the resumption of top-flight cricket in Pakistan.
The series is tied at 1-1, as the final of the much-anticipated series is scheduled on September 15 (Friday) at Gaddafi Stadium in Lahore.
Arthur, who made his first-class debut in 1986-97, played 110 four-day games and 150 List A fixtures while representing Griqualand West and Orange Free State in the domestic fold.
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