"Will Keep Challenging Him...": Pakistan's New Cricket Director On Babar Azam
Pakistan's new team director was asked about backing Babar Azam when he was the team's head coach between 2016 and 2019.
Pakistan's new team director Mickey Arthur has no doubt that captain Babar Azam will become a legend of the game and feels the country is capable of winning world cups and top rankings across formats. Arthur, who signed a one-year contract with the Pakistan Cricket Board on Thursday, was asked about backing Babar when he was the team's head coach between 2016 and 2019.
"What impressed me most were his hands, the speed of his hands. When Grant Bradburn first told me look at this guy in the nets, I was amazed. I had never seen such hand speed and a talent like him, and the key was to give him opportunities to succeed," Arthur said.
"I knew he was going to become a key part of the team. I believe he is the number one batsman right now and he is a wonderful, wonderful talent. I still think he has room for improvement. I will keep challenging him. He is going to be a legend of the game." Arthur, who rejected an offer to become a full-time head coach with the Pakistan team, said there is "no such thing like an online coach".
"First of all, there is no such thing like an online coach. You build relationships with the players, you know exactly what the players require and you give it to them.
"In the last five years I've watched every game Pakistan have played virtually on television. I know the players backwards; I know exactly what they are thinking technically." He said the talent that Pakistan have is second to none and they are perfectly capable of winning world cups and achieving the top spots across all three formats.
"They say Pakistan stays in your blood; it definitely stays in your blood. I always knew there was a time that I was very emotionally attached to this cricket team, very emotionally attached to this country.
"It's a privilege for me; in fact, to come back and help, hopefully win a World Cup, get us to number one in the world in all formats of the game because we certainly have the talent, certainly the players." PCB chairman Najam Sethi outlined his preference for foreign coaches over Pakistani coaches and explained why he had chosen to go back to Arthur.
"I have found that by and large foreign coaches' professionalism is very high and they don't have any culture, friendships or commendations. They are goal oriented and they get the work done. I know because I have seen them work." "I also think we need to have top professional coaches like other teams at international standards. We have top professional coaches in Pakistan, but my experience is that when it comes to Pakistani coaches and selectors, culture, commendations and friendships take over and professionalism suffers. I am partial towards foreign coaches," admitted Sethi.