MICKEY ARTHUR SAYS "IT'S NOT ABOUT ME AGAINST AUSTRALIA" AS HE PREPARES FOR SERIES AGAINST AUSTRALIA
Former Australian test cricket coach Mickey Arthur has returned three years after being let go by Cricket Australia to lead Pakistan in a three test series against his former country.
Cricket Australia replaced Arthur with Darren Lehmann after deciding that discipline had become a problem in the Australian team.
Speaking to Fox Sports, Arthur wanted to make it clear that he holds no hard feelings over the events that surrounded his termination as Australian coach.
“The toughest part was around three years ago, getting my head around exactly how that all happened, because your integrity, your reputation, everything, takes a massive knock. That was tough. But I worked my way through that.
"The media has got a job to do. It annoys me that those stories are going to get rehashed and rehashed and rehashed, but that’s just part of it," said Arthur voluntarily during an interview with the media.
“I want to make it really clear again: it’s not about me against Australia. It’s about two very good young cricket teams going head to head."
Cricket Australia have issued a press statement in response.
"Cricket Australia would like to make it very clear, amidst growing confusion, that it literally is about Arthur and Pakistan against Australia. The use of the phrase 'head to head' has always been to denote one competitor pitted against another and if Mr Arthur is using it in a different context then we are unsure of its meaning.
"To any supporters of either team who have purchased tickets to any of the matches in this series, we would like to reassure them that it most definitely will be played as a competitive sport with a winner and a loser unless it's a draw which is a cricket thing sometimes."
Arthur also made mention of this not being a "revenge mission", which is a bizarre thing to say if you'd never thought of something being a revenge mission.
The first test begins at the Gabba on Thursday.
Australian cricket captain Steve Smith will enter the final match in the Chappell-Hadlee ODI series hoping to avoid an injury so easily represented comically by a still image.
Smith dominated the first match of the series with a commanding 164 before taking a spectacular one-handed catch in the field to spur his team to victory. In diving to take the catch, however, Smith landed on his face as it took the full weight of his body, leaving a trail in the turf not unlike a Warner Bros. cartoon character who had perhaps been fired from a large cannon into the dirt, or maybe even fired from a crossbow in a less likely but equally humorous projectile-based weapon joke.
Fast forward to the second and most recent match in the series where Smith, on his way to another impressive 72, was hit in the groin while attempting a pull shot. Smith lay on the ground in apparent agony, contemplating his very existence while teammate David Warner laughed uproariously like someone whose close friend had just been pulverised in the testicles.
David Warner, after achieving the record for most ODI centuries in a calendar year for Australia, encouraged his skipper, Smith, to go for a different record.
"As far as I know, no Australian captain has ever done as painful and slapstick trilogy of injuries to all three extremities of his digestive system. He's smashed his mouth, his urinary tract...if he can just have the ball lodge somewhere in or around his anus in the third match, he'll go down in history," said the Australian opener.
"You're despicable," said Smith in reply.