Sri Lanka coach Mickey Arthur always exhibited the virtues of his coaching profession. Indeed that Authur’s emotions are in the stands in the dugout area for everyone to see, as he also lives the ups and downs of international cricket every time alongside his players.
While speaking about the ICC head of the men’s T20 World Cup Mickey Arthur showed no signs of changing during the camping of Sri Lanka. Talking about which he said, “I love the passion. I love the intensity of it. I love riding that emotional wave. Some people say coaches should be stoney faced and just sit. It’s not my character. I can’t do that. I love the journey. I love the drive.”
Well, Mickey Arthur has a 16-year international coaching career, and now the Sri Lankan coach is Mickey Arthur’s 4th international role, and his 16 year International coaching career is now longer than the time he spent as a professional player. Compiling over 10000 runs across South African domestic cricket and also representing South Africa A, Mickey finally started his career as a coach younger than most. Mickey Arthur became Australia’s first foreign head coach even before winning the 2017 ICC Champions trophy with Pakistan and in February he was appointed as a Sri Lankan head coach.
Mickey Arthur believes in allowing players to play in their path and to win their individual battles on the field. According to the reports of ICC, he said, “I think first of all you’ve got to understand it’s about the players. The environment is about the players and you’re there to create that environment for them. And then, every player is different, and you’ve got to treat every player differently.”
Even though Arthur focuses on formulating game plans, and acts on the observations that utilizes the data to apply on the day of the match. He also keeps his one eye to look at the future and the cricketer’s overall growth. He said, “The most important thing for me though is seeing player development. Seeing young guys come into your system, seeing them develop, and then seeing them be successful at international level.”
“There’s no better feeling in the world for a coach than having had a small impact in that player’s development.”
Arthur gives more importance to not let a match or a movement define a campaign. According to him 1 result does not make or break the team and the defeat also brings lessons to learn for the future.
Different jobs have also forced Arthur to adapt and to meet the needs of a team as he learned from his mistakes and the opportunities he had throughout his career. “Going to (coach) Australia was slightly different. I probably made the mistake of thinking it was going to be very similar to South Africa, and it certainly wasn’t. But I’ve loved the passion of the subcontinent. My three years with Pakistan were amazing and culturally there was a lot of adapting to do there.”
Out of 16 teams, 7 of them at the tournament are led by the South African coaches and Arthur will go head-to-head with two of them in group A of the first round: Namibia’s Pierre de Bruyn and Ireland’s Graham Ford.
Ford has also coached Sri Lanka in two stints in 2012-14 and 2016-17. Arthur met Ford at the 2017 ICC Champions trophy, in the group stage during his time with Pakistan. Pakistan went on to win the tournament and defeated India by 180 runs, which is the largest victory (by runs) in a final at an ICC event.
Being unsure about the reason why South Africa’s World Cup coaching monopoly is down to, he said, “I’m blown away by that stay. There have been some very successful coaches that have come out of South Africa. I think it’s certainly a career that a lot of people desire in South Africa.”
Two of the successful coaches of South Africa will meet when Arthur’s Sri Lanka takes on Pierre de Bruyn’s Namibia at the Sheikh Zayed Stadium on Tuesday in their first T20 World Cup assignment.