The Pakistan job, should he accept it, will be his second concurrent coaching role as Arthur has a long-term deal with Derbyshire. Arthur does not want to end his job in county cricket and both parties derived an agreement allowing him to have both jobs. It will be an unusual agreement – at international level at least – in which he will not be with the Pakistan team on every tour but will have a handpicked group of support staff running operations.
“It’s a slap on our cricket system that we are not able to find a high-profile full-time coach,” Misbah told ESPNcricinfo. “It’s a shame that the best ones do not want to come and we insist on having someone who is looking at Pakistan as a second option.
“I blame our own system, which is vulnerable enough with so many weak lines for anyone to exploit it. We are to be blamed ourselves that we have disrespected and discredited our own people to make a bad image. The present and former lot don’t respect each other, with media and former players using their own YouTube channels for ratings, grossly hitting the credibility and value of our cricket which, as as result, gives an impression that we are not capable.
“The Pakistan cricket fan is always disgruntled; he is picking up things from the media and is under the wrong impression. Players speaking against each other with grudges and talking openly with disdain just devalues our community, and that becomes the common perception. Our cricket has been constantly under pressure with wavered and subjective opinions. The game is hardly a subject of objective and constructive discussion.
“Cricket is the most popular sport in the country but sadly never hits the headlines in the right way. It’s chaos; former cricketers ridiculing their fellow cricketers on national channels with fans getting the wrong sense. There is no empathy, no respect, and no conducive environment in the cricketing quarter of our country.”
Arthur’s stint as the Pakistan head coach ended in 2019 when the PCB cricket committee recommended not to renew his contract. Misbah was part of the very committee back then that grilled Arthur after the 2019 World Cup and was one of those responsible for Arthur’s release. Interestingly, Misbah later succeeded Arthur and had unprecedented influence in Pakistan cricket by taking over as the head coach of the national side, as well as – uniquely – the chief selector. He, however, resigned from the position with a year left in his job, in September 2021.
There has always been much debate about foreign and local coaches in Pakistan, and Misbah alleged that the handling of each individual has been different by the PCB bureaucracy, with local coaches facing more scrutiny from the board.
“PCB is always ready to back foreign coaches but never supports the local ones,” Misbah said. “They are fond of having overseas coaches because they think locals can easily be politicised and are not capable, but do we know it’s the PCB bureaucracy who politicised the structure? They throw the local ones under the bus when they come under pressure and there has never been accountability of the bureaucracy in PCB. It’s the mismanagement and the consistent changes at the helm that is a problem and we are never able to find one solid line for our cricket.