Mickey Arthur hopes he can at least see out his two-year contract as coach of Pakistan.
Arthur resigned as South Africa coach after five years in 2010, and was sacked as Australia coach in 2013, three weeks before the Ashes because of an uneasy relationship with players.
“Sometimes things work and sometimes things don’t; we’ve got a good record with Australia but there were other issues that we needed to address,” Arthur said in Lahore on Thursday, after meeting with officials of the Pakistan Cricket Board.
“There’s two types of coaches — there’s a coach that’s current and there’s a coach that’s been fired, and if you haven’t been fired you’ve never coached, so I had a really good five years with South Africa, (and) with Australia we had two very good years and that ended in tears, but that’s what happens.”
“I’m confident that in this role, we’ll get things going in the right direction and it won’t happen again.”
Arthur, who arrived in Pakistan on Wednesday, said he had always wanted to coach a team from the subcontinent and it will be challenge for him to progress Pakistan, especially in the short formats.
“If you haven’t coached in the subcontinent, you haven’t really coached,” Arthur said. “That was a massive attraction, coupled with the fact that we need to improve the rankings in ODI cricket ... we need to improve the rankings in Twenty20 cricket.”
Pakistan is at No. 3 in the test rankings primarily because of playing on the slow pitches in the United Arab Emirates. But in ODIs, Pakistan is at No. 9, and in T20s at No. 7. Arthur believed Pakistan can compete by winning series away from its UAE base.
His first assignment is the tour of England next month, including four tests, five ODIs, and a T20. Pakistan is also due to play away series against New Zealand and Australia this season.
“I’ve watched Pakistan cricket and coached against Pakistan cricket over a long period of time,” Arthur said. “There’s some really skilled players out here, and it’s going to be up to myself and the coaching staff to give those players as we always say in the profession, the roots to grow and the wings to fly.”
“I don’t care if they fail. I don’t care if they make mistakes. Professional people are going to make mistakes. As long as we’re learning from those mistakes and going forward as a team I’m going to be happy.”
Arthur missed Pakistan’s strenuous two-week physical training camp at an Army academy in Abbottabad, and also skipped a one-week skill camp at Lahore which ended last week. However, Arthur said he was in constant touch with chief selector Inzamam-ul-Haq, and bowling coach Mushtaq Ahmed before the team was finalised for the tour of England.
“I know that my opinions will always be taken into account,” Arthur said. “At the end of the day, it’s their (selectors) job to select the best possible team, but I know they will do in consultation with myself and the captain, always.”
Arthur called Mohammad Amir a “fantastic professional” after the fast bowler was granted a UK visa, making him available for his first tests in six years following jail and a suspension for spot-fixing in 2010.
“He’s served his time, he’s done it,” Arthur said. “The stuff that’s relevant to me is making Mohammad Amir the best he can possible be as a cricketer.”
Arthur picked Pakistan’s fielding and batting as the weak areas which needed to be improved.
“Fielding needs to ramp up a huge amount ... we’re behind the rest of the pack in terms of fielding in international cricket,” he said. “And then our batting, outside of subcontinental conditions, because I know the ball is going to swing, the ball is going to seam.”