Known for his outspoken nature, former Pakistani pacer Shoaib Akhtar has given a deadline of 8 months to Mickey Arthur, the newly appointed Head Coach of the Pakistan team.
The pacer asked former Australia and South Africa coach Mickey Arthur to either reshape Pakistan cricket in the given time or step down from his assignment.
“But I think in eight months time we will know whether he will make a difference or go like others before him. Because in this period we play some very important series and either he will reshape the way we play our cricket or decide to bid goodbye,” Akhtar said.
The pace said that Arthur’s reputation of being a strict disciplinarian will benefit Pakistan a lot. He also issued a warning to Arthur saying that the South African should be very much aware on ” when and where to draw the line.”
Pakistan will be a having very tough tours in the next 8 months as they travel to England, New Zealand and Australia for a full Test tours before they play the West Indies in a full series in the UAE. Akhtar said that he is hopeful of seeing the changes in the national team.
“Arthur has all the credentials to change the attitude and mindset of our players the way they play top cricket. So I am hopeful.”
Pakistan have always faced trouble when it came to discipline, and talking about that, Akhtar said that while discipline was necessary for cricket teams ,players should be made to feel responsible for their actions.
“Only a professional player can decide what is best for him. When I played there were some undisciplined characters in the team but on match days they only focused on cricket and when they went out to play their tried to give their best that is why our team in those days was so good,” he recalled.
Akhtar also supported PCB’s decision to drop Ahmed Shehzad and Umar Akmal from the training camp being set up for the coming tour to England and said that both the players have themselves to blame for.
“For a long time we have all backed them, appreciated and encouraged their undoubted talent but while others who started with them have moved on to become top performers for their country we are yet to see the best from them.”
When asked about Arthur’s claims in 2009,when about having suspicions that the fifth and final one-day international that Pakistan played a fixed game against South Africa in Lahore in 2007.
“I played in that match and I took four wickets. I was at the non-striker’s end when our wickets fell. We just played badly under pressure. Because if there had been anything fishy going on, believe me, I would have dealt with such players myself,” Akhtar said.
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