Proud Arthur hails remarkable achievement

Pakistan coach Mickey Arthur said he was proud of his team after they thumped India at the Oval on Sunday to win the 2017 Champions Trophy.

Going into the final as heavy underdogs after India had beaten them in the first game of the tournament, Pakistan took no notice of how things were supposed to unfold as they posted a commanding total of 338/4 after being in to bat.

The bowlers then produced a superb spell as they reduced the much-vaunted India batting line-up to just 158 all out to win by a massive margin of 180 runs.

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A former coach of South Africa and Australia who has never won a major global trophy, huge credit has to go to Arthur for the way he pulled the Asian side together after a rather shambolic loss in their opening game.

Arthur said on Sunday: “It’s been an up and down ride for us, but so proud of the boys. We dusted ourselves off after the India defeat in Edgbaston and came back superbly.

“We knew we were prepared well. That loss (first India game) was an aberration. It’s a remarkable achievement.”

Arthur now wants to build on this momentum and make Pakistan a competitive force at the next World Cup in two years, also to be played in the UK.

The South African-born mentor wants his team to get some structure and become more consistent as they came into this tournament as the lowest-ranked side.

Arthur continued: “We want to be a little more consistent as a team. We’ve got a group of young players who are fantastic. We have to keep this momentum going.

“We’re happy with the brand of cricket we’re playing. We’ve got two years until the 2019 World Cup. We’ve got the monkey off our back in terms of qualifying.

“We now have two years to identify a squad we want to take forward and give them enough game time. That’s the aim at the moment.”