Mahmood: Arthur would be a great choice for England job

By Sports Desk August 08, 2019

Azhar Mahmood says Mickey Arthur would be a great choice to succeed England head coach Trevor Bayliss.

Arthur is seeking a new challenge after it was announced on Wednesday that he will not stay on as Pakistan head coach.

Bowling coach Mahmood, batting coach Grant Flower and trainer Grant Luden also departed this week after their contracts expired.

The vastly experienced Arthur is reportedly a contender to replace Bayliss when the Ashes series against Australia ends next month.

Mahmood believes Arthur could be a resounding success if he lands the job and the former Pakistan all-rounder - who lives in England - would relish the opportunity to work with the South African again.

He told Omnisport: "Mickey has served South Africa, he's served Australia. He's been around for a while, so why not, I think he would do a great job

"I'd love to work with Mickey, we had a great relationship and if he becomes head coach and I had the opportunity to stay and work in England, you can't ask for anything more than that."

Mahmood added: "Mickey is very passionate, very emotional. He does things with his heart 100 per cent, whatever he does. I had a great time working with him, I learned a lot from him and I think he was the right man for Pakistan.

"Unfortunately, according to the pundits, we didn't produce, but there are issues with the fitness culture of players in Pakistan, there are a lot of unfit players. Our fielding, batting and bowling improved. People have to be given time, you can't produce overnight. 

"Throughout the period they [the Pakistan Cricket Board] never decided on a captain full-time, that was a problem."

Mahmood said he is open to opportunities in international and domestic cricket.

"I'm looking at my options, it's good to have a little bit of a break but I've already had offers, my phone has been ringing a lot and that was also the case while I was doing the job with Pakistan," he said.

"I have a lot to offer, I played one-day cricket and have been involved in the T20 format all over the world. 

"I would love to work in a capacity where I can pass on my huge experience, whether that be in domestic cricket in England so I can spend more time with my family, while also possibly working in tournaments in other countries.

"If an international opportunity comes up, then let's see. I am open to everything right now. People know I am available now so there is a lot of interest, I just need to work out which is best for my future."

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    Australia finished day three of the fifth and final Test trailing England by 382 runs. The tourists need to avoid defeat to win the series outright having already retained the urn but endured a challenging day in the field as England closed on 318-8.

    Joe Denly was the star for England with 94, though Australia could have dismissed him for considerably fewer runs had they reviewed after Mitchell Marsh struck the opener on the pads.

    Denly was given not out on the field but Hawk-Eye showed the ball would have gone on to hit the stumps, as it would later in the innings when Australia again chose not to review after Nathan Lyon hit Jos Buttler, who made a fluent 46, in front.

    Asked in a media conference what he can do to improve his judgment, the Australia skipper responded sarcastically: "I'm going to do some umpire school when I get home, I'll enrol in a level three umpiring course and see if I can get them right.

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    Australia appeared tired and frustrated as their long and chastening day in the field dragged on, though Paine had no issues with his side's application on Saturday.

    "The last hour of today, our energy is still really good in the field, our bowlers have run in every single day we've asked them to, they've done a fantastic job," added Paine.

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    Denly fell six runs shy of a hundred on day three of the fifth and final Ashes Test, edging Peter Siddle to Steve Smith in the slips.

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    Joe Denly narrowly missed out on a first Test century but England punished the Australia attack to close day three of the fifth and final Ashes Test with a 382-run lead.

    Needing a win to draw the series having already missed out on regaining the urn, England began day three with an advantage of 78 at The Oval.

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    The opener stuck 14 fours and a six and combined with Ben Stokes (67) for a crucial third-wicket partnership of 127 to take away any realistic chance the tourists had of winning the match.

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    They did, however, deny Denly as the Kent batsman fell six runs shy of his maiden three-figure score in the longest format, though that will come as little solace following a chastening day in the field that ended with England 313-8 and 382 runs ahead.

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    In a theme that developed throughout the day, they consistently dispatched anything pitched wide, while Stokes showed relish in attacking the spin, sweeping Lyon for a four and six in successive deliveries.

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    Stokes, playing as a specialist batsman due to a shoulder injury, went to a stunning delivery from Lyon that should provide encouragement for England spinner Jack Leach in the final innings.

    Denly came up short three overs later when he edged Peter Siddle (2-52) to slip, though his departure did not halt England's momentum.

    Jos Buttler ​– who also escaped what should have been a successful claim for lbw – unfurled a series of wondrous cover drives en route to an eye-catching 47. He and Chris Woakes (6) were each dismissed by stunning catches as Australia made late inroads on a difficult day for the tourists.

     

    A GAME TOO FAR FOR AUSSIES

    The Australia attack, led by Pat Cummins, has had the edge for the majority of the series, but they looked tired, frustrated and out of ideas as England piled on the runs. Perhaps this was a game too far for Cummins and company.

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    From his World-Cup winning display in arguably the greatest game ever at Lord's to his heroics in the third Test in Leeds, this truly has been the summer of Stokes for England. Though unable to contribute with the ball in this match, the all-rounder was again imperious with the bat in the second innings, and his stand with Denly looks like being one that ensures a drawn series.

    MOMENT OF THE DAY

    Denly will have been bitterly disappointed not to get to his century, with Siddle earning his reward for applying consistent pressure after he reached the nineties. However, the ovation he received as he left the field was richly deserved following a performance that should do his hopes of retaining a place in the line-up the power of good.

    OPTA FACTS

    - Ben Stokes has more 50s in this Test series than in any other (4).

    - Stokes has surpassed 400 Ashes 2019 runs - the only England batsman to do so.

    - Joe Root has averaged 32.5 in this Ashes; only once before has he recorded a lower rate in a multi-game home Test series (v Sri Lanka, 2016 - 21.8).

    - Only the wicketkeepers have claimed more catches than Steve Smith (12) in the series.

    - Only Alastair Cook and Keaton Jennings have scored more Test runs as an opener for England since Andrew Strauss' retirement than Rory Burns.

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