‘Crazy as a clown in a village circus’ – Ramiz Raja tears into PCB, Najam Sethi over Mickey Arthur’s appointment
Ramiz Raja, the former PCB head, tore into Najam Sethi and the PCB over the appointment of Mickey Arthur as the Team Director of the Pakistan men’s cricket team.
The Pakistan Cricket Board had been on the hunt to find a head coach for their men’s team ever since Saqlain Mushtaq’s contract ended last December. They were especially keen on acquiring Mickey Arthur’s services but were finding it hard to reach a consensus on their arrangement due to Arthur’s long-term commitment to the Derbyshire County team.
The talks between Arthur and the PCB, which were going on since December last year, have finally materialised after several twists and turns, with the PCB announcing his appointment as the Team Director, albeit in a part-time capacity, yesterday (April 20). This has led to several strong reactions in the Pakistan cricket community, with the most scathing reaction coming from Ramiz Raja, the former PCB chairman.
Raja has made several attacks on the Sethi-led committee which is running the PCB, ever since he was ousted as the PCB chairman last year. “A first of its kind coach/director of cricket picked to run Pakistan cricket remotely, whose loyalty is first with his county job than Pakistan cricket. This is as crazy as a clown in a village circus,” Ramiz told Cricbuzz regarding the appointment of Arthur as the Team Director.
A common theme in Raja’s comments against the current PCB administration has been the lack of cricket playing experience of Sethi. “A PCB chairman who doesn’t understand cricket, probably was not even good enough to make it to the XI in a club game, heads a cabal of political, petty minded club runners for a management committee to run Pakistan cricket affairs, who are on a Rs 12 lakhs a month salary,” Raja told Cricbuzz.
The terms around Arthur’s appointment are interesting to look at. He will be responsible for ‘formulating and implementing strategies’ for the Pakistan men’s team and will be available for some of their assignments, including the ODI World Cup in October-November later this year, the Australia tour, and the West Indies series at home. For the others, he will oversee the proceedings remotely, with his primary focus being on his county role.
“Derbyshire remains Mickey’s main focus, however, he continues to be an ambitious coach and having our Head of Cricket lead Pakistan in the ICC World Cup, as well as in international series, will be a great opportunity for our Club to be represented on the world stage,” Derbyshire Chief Executive Ryan Duckett told Cricbuzz.
Arthur served as the head coach of the Pakistan men’s team between 2016-2019 and had a successful tenure back then, leading them to the Champions Trophy victory in 2017 and to No.1 rankings in Tests and T20Is. “Having lived and worked in Pakistan during his previous tenure, Mickey knows the current players, the structure, and the system at the back of his hand. I am sure he will incorporate learnings from the previous tenure so that he can have an even more successful second term,” said Sethi during the announcement of Arthur’s appointment as Team Director.
Sethi and his committee which is running the PCB on an interim basis meanwhile, have been given an extension of two to four weeks to reimplement the PCB’s 2014 constitution.