Karachi - Pakistan cricket team’s new head coach Mickey Arthur has stated that players like Shahid Afridi cannot be discarded easily and he will be considered in future plans of Pakistan team.

In an interview with PakPassion.net, Arthur maintained that Afridi has been a phenomenal performer for Pakistan cricket and player of his class cannot be easily discounted. “Shahid Afridi’s been a fantastic player for Pakistan for many years so you don’t discard phenomenal players like that very easily,” said Arthur while answering a question whether Afridi has international cricket left in him.

He seemed focused on his current job and challenges in form of England and Australia tours and refrained to speak of future planning about Afridi. “If we think there is a role for him we will certainly bring him back but that’s a discussion for the future and another time. There’s a lot of cricket to be played before we get to that discussion.”

Answering to a question about how he sees having three different captains for each format and does it make his job a bit tough, the former Aussie coach said: “Yes, it does a little bit to be honest. We will assess that. I’ll go in and have a look and discuss it with Inzamam-ul-Haq and see what he thinks is the best way forward and we’ll go from there.”

Arthur also hinted that his favour lies with having maximum two captain for three formats, however, he said was ‘fine’ having even three. “Ideally, you want two captains as a maximum across the three formats. That’s something we will look at, even if it’s three different captains that can be fine. We will do whatever we think is best.”

To another query regarding the reason behind choosing Pakistan head coach which was considered as toughest job, Arthur said: “What appeals to me is the actual challenge of it. I think it's a massive challenge and I do enjoy challenges for my sins. I think this is a challenge that is right up there and one where I feel like I can really make a difference.

“You just have to be able to block all of that out and I certainly will. I'm going there to do the best I possibly can for Pakistan cricket. I want to make this team as successful as it can be and I will not let external forces dictate how I go about doing my business and I will certainly be blocking out all that external noise,” he added.

When asked he was not first choice for the head coach job, yet he joined it, he said: “According to the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB), when I spoke with them, apparently there was no offer made to anybody apart from me. So I'm not sure as there are so many rumours that go around Pakistan cricket at any given time that who knows. But according to the PCB, I was the first person they made an actual offer to, so that's what I am taking at face value.”

When asked how would he use his experience of coaching South Africa and Australia in his role with Pakistan, Arthur said: “You learn from so many things. I had five and a half largely very successful years with South Africa and then my first year with Australia was really good and in the second year things didn't work out and you learn from those experiences. Would I have done the same things again? I'm not sure. There are certainly things you end up learning from that make you a better coach, just like players do when they go through similar experiences. I'm certainly more experienced from it and hopefully a better coach from the previous experiences.”

About his future plans, goals and targets for Pakistan team, Arthur said: “Yes, I always like to have goals and targets and set them for myself and the team. But again they will be small and little steps to start with. You have to crawl before you walk or run and I guess that's where we are at the moment. I will keep assessing those goals as we move up the food chain and obviously the more I'm into the job, the more I'll be able to assess the goals and standards we want.”