The exact details of the agreement are still being ratified, not least the structure which will determine how hands-on the 54-year-old Arthur will need to be while leading Derbyshire through the county season. He will not be required to travel with Pakistan for any bilateral series, including the tour of Sri Lanka, which takes place in June and July. He is expected to attend the team’s preparation camp ahead of October’s ODI World Cup.
During conversations with the PCB, Arthur reiterated his commitment to Derbyshire. He is determined to see through what he regards as “a four-year project”. An approach for him to return outright as Pakistan’s head coach fell through last December before more back-and-forth allowed both parties to compromise with a consultancy role.
“I’m very excited by that opportunity because Pakistan is very dear to me,” Arthur told ESPNcricinfo. “But Derbyshire is as well. That was one of the things that I kept saying to Najam Sethi [chair of the PCB] when he spoke to me – that Derbyshire was really important to me.
“I’ve got a four-year contract here and I’m only year one into a project. With my proposal and schedule I’ve put in place, I know that it is possible. But the nitty-gritties, we’re just going through at the minute.”
“I kept in touch with all those players anyway. I’ve seen them grow up in front of me. The challenge is when I had them they were young boys,” he added, before joking: “They’ve grown into men with egos now!”
“Managing them is going to be important, but I’ve got great relationships with all of them. I just can’t wait to put that all together. I know I can and it’s going to be quite an attractive package for both Derbyshire and Pakistan.”
It is understood Arthur will travel to Lahore next month, though those dates are yet to be sorted. Derbyshire begin their County Championship Division Two campaign against Worcestershire at home on April 6, but sit out of the third round of games. The gap between the end of the Round 2 fixture against Leicestershire, on April 16, and the start of Derbyshire’s next four-dayer against Durham on April 27 is a potential window for this visit.