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Mickey Arthur 'excited' to rekindle Pakistan relationship in dual role with Derbyshire

Pakistan team director is one year into his four-year deal as Derbyshire head coach

Mickey Arthur oversees his side's preparation, Birmingham vs Derbyshire, Vitality Blast, Edgbaston, June 19, 2022

Mickey Arthur oversees his side's preparation  •  Getty Images

Mickey Arthur is excited by the prospect of rekindling his relationship with the PCB ahead of taking up a position as a consultant for the Pakistan men's national team.
ESPNcricinfo reported that Arthur, who coached Pakistan between 2016 and 2019, has struck a deal as team director, with the important caveat he can fulfil the job remotely. The South African is currently head coach at Derbyshire, one year into a four-year deal signed with the English county at the end of 2021.
The exact details of the agreement are still being ratified, not least the structure which will determine how hands-on the 54-year-old Arthur will need to be while leading Derbyshire through the county season. He will not be required to travel with Pakistan for any bilateral series, including the tour of Sri Lanka, which takes place in June and July. He is expected to attend the team's preparation camp ahead of October's ODI World Cup.
During conversations with the PCB, Arthur reiterated his commitment to Derbyshire. He is determined to see through what he regards as "a four-year project". An approach for him to return outright as Pakistan's head coach fell through last December before more back-and-forth allowed both parties to compromise with a consultancy role.
"I'm very excited by that opportunity because Pakistan is very dear to me," Arthur told ESPNcricinfo. "But Derbyshire is as well. That was one of the things that I kept saying to Najam Sethi [chair of the PCB] when he spoke to me - that Derbyshire was really important to me.
"I've got a four-year contract here and I'm only year one into a project. With my proposal and schedule I've put in place, I know that it is possible. But the nitty-gritties, we're just going through at the minute."
Arthur's remit will be very different to the one he undertook as head coach, a job which is now due to be filled by Pakistan's former fielding coach, Grant Bradburn. However, Arthur will be dealing with a lot of the same cricketers he oversaw during his tenure. Adjusting to a new dynamic with individuals he helped establish, such as Babar Azam, Shaheen Afridi and Shadab Khan, will be a different proposition, and one he is looking forward to.
"I kept in touch with all those players anyway. I've seen them grow up in front of me. The challenge is when I had them they were young boys," he added, before joking: "They've grown into men with egos now!"
"Managing them is going to be important, but I've got great relationships with all of them. I just can't wait to put that all together. I know I can and it's going to be quite an attractive package for both Derbyshire and Pakistan."
It is understood Arthur will travel to Lahore next month, though those dates are yet to be sorted. Derbyshire begin their County Championship Division Two campaign against Worcestershire at home on April 6, but sit out of the third round of games. The gap between the end of the Round 2 fixture against Leicestershire, on April 16, and the start of Derbyshire's next four-dayer against Durham on April 27 is a potential window for this visit.

Vithushan Ehantharajah is an associate editor at ESPNcricinfo