Ahead of Mickey Arthur’s arrival at The Incora County Ground, we take a closer look at Derbyshire’s newly-appointed Head of Cricket.
Fresh from coaching a young Sri Lanka side at the 2021 ICC Twenty20 World Cup, Arthur takes charge of an exciting Derbyshire squad, with the potential of several developing players a cause for optimism in the 2022 campaign.
A seasoned international coach, boasting almost 15 years’ experience at the highest level of the game with the likes of South Africa, Australia, Pakistan, as well as his recent spell with Sri Lanka, which included series wins over India (T20), West Indies (ODI) and Bangladesh (Test).
The 53-year-old enjoyed a solid career as a batter, scoring more than 10,000 runs across all formats for Impalas, Orange Free State and Griqualand West, the latter of which he started his coaching career with, before moving to Eastern Cape in 2003.
A couple of impressive seasons followed, which culminated in finals appearances, before Arthur was appointed as South Africa National Coach in 2005. Over the next five years, he would lead them to notable series victories against India, England, Pakistan and Australia and led South Africa to the top of the world rankings in Tests and ODIs at different times.
Arthur took charge of Australia in 2011 and held the position until 2013, but it was with Pakistan that Arthur would showcase his ability to develop talent and challenge for success.
Becoming Pakistan Head Coach in 2016, Arthur took over a side which had struggled in the ICC Twenty20 World Cup, winning just one match and failing to progress from the group stage. He galvanised a squad containing Babar Azam, Fakhar Zaman and Hasan Ali and just a year later, they would lift the ICC Champions Trophy, defeating India by a comprehensive 180 runs in the final at The Oval.
That success was not a surprise for Arthur, who had always been ambitious about his Pakistan side. in 2018, he told ESPN Cricinfo: “I am changing the culture in this Pakistan environment and I am not interested in players doing just the bare minimum. I want players winning us games of cricket and pushing themselves to be the best they can be.”
However, despite a successful period leading the Pakistan national team, Arthur departed in 2019, before taking on the Sri Lanka role in early 2020. Covid-19 limited the amount of matches played during his tenure, but the developing squad still managed a number of impressive wins under his stewardship, including five wins at the most recent ICC Twenty20 World Cup.
Speaking to The Guardian in 2009, Arthur gave an insight into what he believes makes a truly great coach : “A good coach will come in ra, ra, ra and rejig the whole set-up. That might work for a year or 18 months but isn’t sustainable. A great coach has the ability to get the best out of his players without the ra, ra, ra stuff.”
Now, Arthur joins a Derbyshire squad aiming to improve on a disappointing 2021 season, and will be looking to mould the squad prior to the 2022 campaign beginning in April.
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