Pakistan coach Arthur warns against writing off Australia despite loss of key players

Waseem Ahmed 15/08/2018
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Mickey Arthur will not be taking Australia lightly.

Mickey Arthur and Justin Langer rekindled their friendship over breakfast at Perth on Wednesday ahead of their respective teams’ clash in the UAE later this October.

Pakistan head coach Arthur and his Australia counterpart Langer go a long way back with the two working together during the former’s spell in charge of the Australian team in 2012.

Now the two will be in opposing dugouts when Australia take on Pakistan in a two-Test series in the UAE in October. The two Tests against Pakistan will be Langer’s first red-ball assignment as Australia coach ever since he took over after Darren Lehmann’s resignation.

The ball-tampering episode during Australia’s tour of South Africa has left the Baggy Green without the services of Steve Smith and David Warner who were both handed a one-year ban from international and domestic cricket by Cricket Australia.

The Aussies will also have to make do without the services of fast-bowling duo Pat Cummins and Josh Hazlewood who have both been ruled out of the series after failing to recover from their injuries.

Langer assisted Arthur during his tenure as Australia coach in 2012.

Langer assisted Arthur during his tenure as Australia coach in 2012.

Despite the loss of key personnel, Arthur is not taking Australia lightly.

“Australia are never weak. I have been reading all that stuff but no Australian squad is weak,” he was quoted as saying by The Age on Wednesday.

The Pakistan head coach knows that spin will play a key role in the series with none of the matches being day-night affairs.

“That’s not going to be any secret – hopefully we get it to turn,” Arthur said.

On Tuesday, Pakistan received a huge setback in their search of a new fielding coach with South Australia’s Darren Berry pulling out of discussions with the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) due to professional and personal reasons.

Arthur hopes to have a new man in place soon.

“I am looking at several people at the moment. I was really disappointed to have missed out on Darren because he would have been great,” he said.

The final schedule of Australia’s tour of the UAE is yet to be released by the PCB. Apart from the two Tests, the two sides are also slated to play five ODIs and a one-off T20.

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South Africa's AB de Villiers has no regrets over retirement

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The South African retired from international cricket in May this year.

AB de Villiers says he has absolutely no regrets over calling time on his international career.

In what came as a shock move, the South Africa batsman announced he was retiring from all forms of international cricket in May this year.

Speaking to the Independent, the 34-year-old spoke about the ‘unbearable’ pressure which led him to seek retirement.

“I know the right answer is probably to say I will always miss the game, but I truly believe that players who tell you they don’t feel the pressure of international cricket – being away from home for months at a time – are lying to everyone and themselves,” the South African said.

“It’s been unbearable at times; the pressure you have to face, performing day in and day out. The expectations that you put on yourself, from fans, from the country, from coaches.

ABD's retirement move had shocked many.

ABD’s retirement move had shocked many.

“It is huge, and it’s something that’s on your mind all the time as a cricketer. It’s definitely something that I’m not going to miss. I’m very happy to have stepped away. Absolutely no regrets.”

The right-hander enjoyed a stellar 15-year international career in which he scored 8,675 runs in 114 Tests at an average of 50.66 along with the help of 22 tons. His ODI record is equally impressive, if not more, with 9,577 runs in 228 matches at an average of 53.50.

The South African continues to participate in franchise T20 leagues such as the IPL. On Tuesday, he was announced as the global ambassador for the inaugural UAE T20x league which will get underway in January next year.

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Gary Stead appointed as head coach of New Zealand cricket team

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Gary Stead is the new coach of the Black Caps.

Former batsman Gary Stead has been appointed as the new coach of the New Zealand cricket team on a two-year-deal.

The 46-year-old Stead will take over from Mike Hesson who resigned from his post in June this year.

Stead had emerged as the leading candidate for the job after he was unanimously approved by the five-man selection panel formed by New Zealand Cricket.

With his candidacy being approved by New Zealand Cricket on Wednesday, Stead will now take the reins of the Black Caps from September. His first assignment as New Zealand coach will be the ODI and T20I series against Pakistan in UAE during October.

“It’s an honour and a privilege to be part of that, and I can’t wait to get started,” Stead said after accepting the job.

Stead (r) will begin his role in September.

Stead (r) will begin his role in September.

“It’s a matter of helping maintain New Zealand’s strong form on the international scene, but also respecting what’s happened over the past four or five years by continuing to push for improvement.

“This is a well-established and high-performing Black Caps side with an excellent captain in Kane Williamson, and a real desire to win series and titles.”

Stead played five Tests for New Zealand in 1999 before leading the White Ferns to the ICC Women’s World Cup final. He has since led Canterbury to domestic titles in 2014, 2015 and 2017.

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