PAKISTAN: After the home series against New Zealand, Shahid Afridi may continue as chief selector, while Mickey Arthur is anticipated to decide later this month whether to stay on as Pakistan’s head coach.
Reliable sources inside the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) claim that interim head selector Afridi had only agreed to oversee the current series against New Zealand. However, now it seems that he has changed his mind.
According to a source, Afridi has spoken with PCB Chairman Najam Sethi, who initially persuaded him to serve as interim chief selector.
Due to Pakistan’s two major events this year—the 50-over Asia Cup and the World Cup in India—discussions have now taken place on the prospect of the former skipper staying in the position.
“Sethi is pleased with how Afridi and his fellow selectors, Abdul Razzaq, Rao Iftikhar, and Haroon Rasheed, chose players for the two Test matches and the ODI series against New Zealand,” the source said.
“There is a ‘strong likelihood’ that Shahid will be persuaded to carry on and plan a timetable that allows him to devote time to his foundation activities,” the person added.
Another source claimed that Sethi is awaiting a response from Arthur, who has been requested to take over as the team’s head coach once more.
The insider stated, “Arthur, who is now under a lengthy contract with Derbyshire County, has asked for some time to evaluate his options and position and has said he would get back later this month with a firm response.”
From 2016 to 2019, Arthur was Pakistan’s head coach. When Sethi resigned and Ehsan Mani assumed control of the board following the 2019 World Cup, he was dismissed from his contract.
According to the source, Arthur had expressed interest in returning to international cricket as a coach.
The good news for the PCB is that after New Zealand’s tour of Pakistan concludes on January 14, the team has no scheduled international commitments until April, which is after the Pakistan Super League concludes in March.
Pakistan’s next international obligations will be hosting New Zealand in April-May for five one-day internationals and five Twenty20 internationals, followed by a two-test series with Sri Lanka and an ODI series against Afghanistan before the Asia Cup and World Cup.
Therefore, the PCB has time to prepare a long-term selection committee following the PSL as well as its new management setup for the team.
Also Read: Ex-Cricketer Danish Kaneria Slams Shahid Afridi, Calls Him a “Liar”