Mickey Arthur set to return to Pakistan - as Sri Lanka coach

South African unveiled as islanders' coach with his first assignment against a team he last worked with

Newly appointed Sri Lanka's cricket team head coach Mickey Arthur (L) speaks as Sri Lanka cricket president Shammi Silva smiles during a press conference in Colombo on December 5, 2019. Sri Lanka's cricket board on December 5 announced a major revamp with the appointment of South African Mickey Arthur as the new "consultant head coach" to rebuild the national team. / AFP / Ishara S. KODIKARA
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South African Mickey Arthur was on Thursday officially appointed as Sri Lanka's head coach, setting the stage for an exciting return to Pakistan during his new team's next international assignment.

Arthur was handed a two-year contract by Sri Lanka, replacing Chandika Hathurusingha who had an acrimonious fallout with the board.

Arthur, 51, will have Zimbabwean Grant Flower in his support staff as batting coach while Australians David Saker and Shane McDermott will be the bowling coach and the fielding coaches respectively.

Interim coach Rumesh Ratnayake will help Arthur in the transition process.

"We are very happy and pleased that we have been able to obtain the services of Mickey," SLC secretary Mohan Silva said. "He's a well-known personality who has been the head coach of a number of countries."

Arthur had a largely successful stint with Pakistan from 2016 until early this year, guiding them to the 50-over Champions Trophy title in 2017 and overseeing their rise to the No1 ranking in T20s and Tests, albeit briefly in the red-ball format.

"It had been three very good years with Pakistan and I needed a little bit of time away. The Sri Lankan job became available and I started discussions," Arthur said.

"I looked at the talent that's available and that's the key motivating factor ... to help these young players fulfill their potential."

In his first assignment as Sri Lanka coach, Arthur will return to Pakistan next week for a two-match Test series which begins on December 11.