Mickey Arthur discusses the absence of fan support, the upheaval in the World Cup, and the stability within the Pakistan team

Former Pakistan team director, Mickey Arthur, has shared insights into the challenges he encountered during his tenure with the national squad. He particularly highlighted the lack of fan support in India during the 2023 ODI World Cup and the persistent off-field distractions surrounding the team.

Arthur, who resigned after Pakistan’s early exit from the World Cup, recalled the tough atmosphere in Ahmedabad, where the absence of Pakistani fans posed a significant obstacle. He commended his players for their resilience but acknowledged that the absence of familiar support affected their motivation.

“It was extremely tough not having any Pakistan support. The incredible support the Pakistan team receives at grounds and hotels is a driving force for them. Here we never had that, and that was quite tough in a World Cup, particularly for the players,” Arthur said.

Despite reports of dressing room discord and leaked WhatsApp conversations involving Babar Azam, Arthur asserted that it did not impact the team’s focus. He defended his coaching methods, refuting claims of being an “online coach” and highlighting his continuous communication with the team.

“The outside noise with Pakistan is incredible; you just have to check your Twitter feed to see so many fires that are ignited out there, that have absolutely no truth attached to them,” he said. “What we knew within our team was our game plan, and the defined roles that the players had, and we cracked on with it. There were unequivocally no massive disagreements with the players.”

Addressing his decision to return to Pakistan as a team director while holding a position with English county Derbyshire, Arthur explained that his strong relationship with former PCB chairman Najam Sethi motivated his return. He emphasized the importance of trust within the team and the selection process.

Arthur advocated for a more stable environment in Pakistani cricket, stressing the need for trust between players and the board to ensure they play for the team’s success rather than individual goals. He believes in giving players a fair chance and maintaining clear communication to foster a winning mentality.

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