Mickey Arthur, who was recently sacked as the head coach of the Pakistan cricket team earlier in the year, will now reportedly lead the Sri Lanka cricket team ahead of the two-Test series starting on December 11. In an interaction with ESPNCricinfo, Sri Lanka Cricket CEO Ashley De Silva stated that Arthur, along with Grant Flower and David Saker will be joining on a two-year contract. Arthur will be the 11th head coach of the Sri Lanka cricket team in the last eight years. Chandika Hathurusinghe, who was the previous head coach of Sri Lanka, remains under contract with the board. Grant Flower will be the batting coach while Saker will be the bowling coach. Flower had worked with Arthur as the batting coach during their tenure in Pakistan while the former Zimbabwe all-rounder has been the coach of the Bangladesh Premier League franchise Rangpur Riders.
Saker, on the other hand, has worked as the bowling coach of England and Australia in the last 10 years. It was during Saker's tenure that England were at the top of the Test rankings while for Australia, he played a pivotal part in their success.
The Pakistan Cricket Board's Cricket Committee had begun the process of reviewing the team's performance following the end of the ICC Cricket World Cup 2019. The Committee, headed by PCB Managing Director Wasim Khan, reviewed team's performances in the last three years, including the World Cup, where Pakistan could not qualify for the semifinals. According to a source, Arthur suggested to the members that Shadab Khan should replace Sarfaraz as captain in the limited-over formats while Babar Azam should be given the reins of the Test side.
The source added, "Arthur did have some negative things to say about Sarfaraz's captaincy skills to the members. I need two more years with the Pakistan team and then I can deliver remarkable results." Arthur was the head coach of the Pakistan team since mid-2016. He has also applied for the position of head coach with the Sri Lankan Cricket Board. Under him, Pakistan's biggest gain was winning the ICC Champions Trophy two years back. The team became number one in ICC's T20 rankings but performance in Test cricket dipped drastically while it remained inconsistent in One-day format.