Sri Lanka’s new Head Coach, Mickey Arthur gave new hope to Sri Lankans yesterday reassuring that the flagging image of the Sri Lanka cricket team could be optimised to become a top potential outfit when he said, “The key would be to see how the players develop and become consistent in performance”. He stressed that he would be primarily addressing the core issue of ensuring that the players translate their abundant talent in the right way which was the key to top level success.
Announcing to a packed audience of Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC) officials and local and foreign media men that it was great to take up the challenging job of working and fine tuning very talented Sri Lankan cricketers, the 51-year old South African born John Michael ‘Mickey’ Arthur said, “It is important for the players to firstly understand the coach and once they understand the coach how they evolve their game is as important. The key is to coming and to watch these young players and how they perform. The amount of talent they have is great. But how to use that talent is important in a cricket world that is agog with so much of competitive cricket like the world test championship and ICC T20 championship. What I see is a very competent group of players and to see how they play. It’s a whole exciting structure and it is very exciting to see a program set up under the structure for players for 12 months and get better and better.”
Arthur, who has come over for the top Sri Lankan assignment in the wake of stints with South Africa, Australia and Pakistan from where he has taken up as the Sri Lanka Head Coach, said that his 3 years with Australia and Pakistan respectively were wonderful, moreover his last stint where he was proud to have raised the standard of the Pakistani players to a top class team.
At the outset, Secretary of SLC, Mohan de Silva said that Sri Lanka Cricket was pleased to announce the hiring of Mickey Arthur as the new Head Coach to fill a vacuum where Sri Lanka had been without a proper national coach for some time.
“I must say Sri Lanka Cricket is happy and pleased to obtain the services of Mickey Arthur, the well known cricket personality who had coached countries like South Africa, Australia and Pakistan. Mickey, we welcome you to our midst. I’m confident that he will use his knowledge to raise our team to a high level.
Meanwhile, the interim head coach, Rumesh Ratnayake will continue in the job for the upcoming tour of Pakistan with Arthur as consultant coach since he has just taken up his job after which he will take over the full time coaching role while the former will be entrusted in charge of the high performance centre. Furthermore, 49-year old former Zimbabwe cricketer, Grant Flower, younger brother of Andy, will function as Sri Lanka’s national batting coach as well as the head coach of the Sri Lanka A Team while 53-year old Australian born, David James Saker, who served as fast bowling coach of the Australian team, will be the fast bowling coach of the Sri Lanka Team with both appointments effective from December 6.
By Srian Obeyesekere
-The opinions expressed here are the views of the writer and do not necessarily reflect the views and opinions of Sri Lanka Cricket-