LAHORE - Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) on Wednesday announced it has decided that the contracts of head coach Mickey Arthur, bowling coach Azhar Mahmood, batting coach Grant Flower and trainer Grant Luden will not be renewed.

The PCB cricket committee, which met on Friday, was unanimous in its recommendations for the change. The recommendations were forwarded and discussed with the PCB chairman Ehsan Mani. As part of the recruitment process, the PCB will now advertise the four available roles and will invite high level applications from interested candidates.

Speaking on the revamp of national coaching setup, Ehsan Mani said: “I am thankful to the PCB cricket committee for submitting their recommendations following an exhaustive and detailed review process. The committee comprised of individuals who possess tremendous acumen, experience and knowledge. The unanimous recommendation of the Committee was that it was time for new leadership and a fresh approach. I am happy to accept their strong recommendations.

“On behalf of the PCB, I want to sincerely thank Mickey Arthur, Grant Flower, Grant Luden and Azhar Mahmood for their hard work and unwavering commitment during their tenures with the national men’s team. We wish them every success in their future endeavors. The PCB remains committed to its fans and followers and we will do our utmost to ensure that we make decisions that continue to move Pakistan cricket forward in all formats,” he added.

With this revamp, five key people will be out of the setup following Pakistan’s fifth-place finish at the World Cup, with chief selector Inzamam-ul-Haq having earlier decided against contract renewal once his stint ended in July. The only survivor from the coaching staff is fielding coach Grant Bradburn, whose contract runs until September 2021. Bradburn’s continuation underscores the PCB’s stated position that no one has been removed, their contracts just haven’t been renewed. However, with the men leaving interested in staying on, it’s really a distinction without a difference.

Arthur was appointed as head coach in May 2016 after Pakistan’s disappointing performance at the World T20 in 2016 ended with Waqar Younis’ stint coming to a close. Arthur immediately adopted a tough stance on the fitness and fielding standards of the players and brought in Steve Rixon as fielding coach. Several players were cast aside - Umar Akmal, Mohammad Irfan, Wahab Riaz and Sohail Khan for example - for not being at the levels Arthur wanted, while Pakistan’s fielding numbers soared under Rixon’s watch; in the 12 months before he left in June 2018, Pakistan were a better fielding side than South Africa and Australia.

Under Arthur, Pakistan reached the top spot in the T20I rankings and, following a 2-2 series draw in England in 2016 - his first assignment as head coach - they rose to the top of the Test rankings. That didn’t last long, though, as Pakistan endured a disappointing run in the format after that, losing nine of the following 11 matches they played, including a 2-0 loss at home to Sri Lanka. It was Pakistan’s first Test series loss in the UAE since it became their home away from home. Overall, Pakistan won 10 and lost 17 of the Test matches played under Arthur, by far the most disappointing aspect of his coaching record with the side.

But there were also concerns that his robust, high-intensity methods, and no-nonsense headmasterly style of coaching was beginning to wear out his players. There was a high-profile falling out with Umar Akmal in 2017, following which the player was sidelined for over a year, only to play in a five-match ODI series where Pakistan rested half-a-dozen frontline players. Then, in South Africa last year, Arthur had a go at several players following a second-innings collapse in Centurion, and also had tough words for Babar Azam following a loss against England in a five-match ODI series in May this year. Babar had scored a hundred in the game, but Arthur felt his strike rate was a contributing factor to the defeat.

Meanwhile, Mickey Arthur said that he was “disappointed and hurt” as he was axed as Pakistan coach following an underwhelming World Cup. He said he had done his best with Pakistan who narrowly failed to reach the World Cup semi-finals. “I am extremely disappointed and hurt. I did my wholehearted effort to lift Pakistan cricket.” Reports say that Arthur is on the shortlist of names for the next England coach after Trevor Bayliss departs following the ongoing Ashes Test series.

Pakistan bowling coach Azhar Mahmood thanked PCB for the opportunity, saying it’s been a tremendous journey with PCB. “I thank them and wish them all the very best for the future of Pakistan cricket. After having served my tenure of over 2.5 years to Pakistan team & giving it our utmost best I look forward to moving on,” he tweeted.