Pakistan Cricket Board Tuesday succumbed to head coach Mickey rthur’s demand to give Mushtaq Ahmed for the England tour, after initially deciding against sending the former leg-spinner on trip and confine him to the national cricket academy in Lahore.
Arthur had worked with Mushtaq for the Karachi Kings franchise in the inaugural Pakistan Super League in February this year and there were strong reports that Arthur will seek him for the England tour.
But since Mushtaq was appointed head coach at the NCA, PCB chairman Shaharyar Khan categorically said that he did not want NCA coach to go on tours but had to be forced after Arthur persisted with Mushtaq, convincing that the former leg-spinner has also worked with Waqar Younis in the recent past.
Azhar could not give time during the Test series as he has a contract with Surrey which he has to honour during the Test series.
But the most significant decision is appointing Steve Rixon as fielding coach. The 62-year-old was Australia’s assistant coach until January 2014 when Darren L:ehmann decided to have his own team.
That angered Rixon, who declared that he had “very little respect” for Cricket Australia and in particular what saw as interference with cricket decisions from above.
Rixon was also assistant to Stephen Fleming for Chennai Super King until the team was banned for fixing last year. He also had a stint with New Zealand as coach in 1996 and is seen as a hard task master.
Arthur had singled out Pakistan’s poor fielding as the main thing he wanted to improve and with Rixon around that task is likely to be achieved gradually.