Mickey Arthur appointed new Sri Lanka head coach

Mickey Arthur

Sri Lanka have unveiled South African Mickey Arthur as their new ‘consultant’ head coach. This will be Arthur’s fourth stint as the head coach of a high-profile international side. He has previously coached South Africa, Australia and Pakistan. His tenure as the head coach of the Pakistan national team was not extended after a poor 2019 World Cup. He was replaced at the helm by Misbah-ul-Haq. He will be replacing Chandika Hathurusinghe who was sacked by the sports ministry after a string of poor results.

Arthur has been handed a two-year contract by the Sri Lankan cricket board. His backroom staff will include Grant Flower as the batting coach, David Saker as the bowling coach and Shane McDermott as the fielding coach. Flower though will only work with the team in the limited-overs formats of the game. He won’t be a part of the backroom staff during Sri Lanka’s historic Test tour of Pakistan.

The Sri Lankan assignment will undoubtedly be one of the toughest of Arthur’s storied coaching career. The national team has been on a constant downward spiral. Sri Lanka have found it tough to replace their golden generation who made them one of the best teams in the world. The likes of Mahela Jayawardene, Kumar Sangakkara and Muttiah Muralitharan retired in quick succession. The new players have failed to fill their boots, leaving them in a state of constant transition.

Mickey Arthur will now aim to find a pool of talents who can make the Sri Lankan team competitive in nature once again. The team currently sit in the 6th spot in the ICC Test rankings, while languishing in the 8th spot in the ODI rankings. They are also struggling in the T20I format sitting in the 7th spot, with back-to-back World Cups in 2020 and 2021.

His immediate concern though will be the two-match Test series against Pakistan. The first Test will start at Rawalpindi on 11th December. The second Test will take place in Karachi between 19th to 23rd December.