Shahid Afridi could continue as chief selector after the home series against New Zealand while Mickey Arthur is expected to make a decision on whether to return as Pakistan’s head coach later this month.
According to reliable sources in the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB), Afridi, who is the interim chief selector, had initially only accepted the responsibility for the ongoing series against New Zealand, but is now having second thoughts.
“Shahid has had talks with PCB Chairman Najam Sethi who had initially convinced him to work as interim chief selector but now discussions have taken place on the possibility of the former captain continuing in the role given that this year Pakistan has two major events -- the 50-overs Asia Cup and the World Cup in India,” one source said.
The source added that Sethi is happy with the way Afridi and his fellow selectors --- Abdul Razzaq, Rao Iftikhar and Haroon Rasheed had picked players for the two Tests and the ODI series against New Zealand.
“Strong possibility that Shahid will be persuaded to continue and chalk out a schedule where he can also give time to his foundation work,” the source said.
Another source said that Sethi is waiting for a reply from Arthur, who has been asked to return as head coach of the Pakistan team.
“Arthur, who currently has a long contract with Derbyshire county, has asked for some time to consider his options and position and has said he will get back later this month with a solid answer,” the source said.
Arthur served as Pakistan’s head coach from 2016 to 2019. He was released from his contract when Sethi resigned and the new management of Ehsan Mani took charge of the board after the 2019 World Cup.
The source said that Arthur had also shown interest in making a comeback to international cricket as a coach.
The good thing for the PCB is that after New Zealand completes its tour of Pakistan on January 14, there is no international commitment lined up for the team until April after the Pakistan Super League ends in March.
“Pakistan’s next international commitments will be hosting New Zealand for five ODIs and five T20Is in April-May after which they will play a two-Test series with Sri Lanka and then an ODI series against Afghanistan before August followed by the Asia Cup and World Cup.” “So, the PCB has time to finalise its new management set up for the team and also a long-term selection committee after the PSL.”