November 28, 2019 / 3:07 AM / 14 days ago

Arthur released by New Zealand first-class side to pursue 'new assignment'

FILE PHOTO: Cricket - ICC Cricket World Cup - Pakistan Press Conference - Emirates Old Trafford, Manchester, Britain - June 15, 2019 Pakistan coach Mickey Arthur during a press conference Action Images via Reuters/Lee Smith

WELLINGTON (Reuters) - Former South Africa, Australia and Pakistan cricketer Mickey Arthur has been released from his short-term Twenty20 contract with New Zealand side Central Districts to pursue another job, the first class side said on Thursday.

Specialist cricket website ESPN Cricinfo said this month that Sri Lanka Cricket were in talks with Arthur to take over the national side.

Arthur was to lead Central Districts in New Zealand’s domestic Twenty20 competition, which starts on Dec. 13.

Aldin Smith, who is in charge of CD for first class and one-day matches on an interim basis this season, will also take on T20 responsibilities.

“Mickey is a great cricket coach, and a top guy, and I wish him well in his next assignment,” CD chief executive Pete de Wet said in a statement on Thursday.

“We are obviously disappointed that Mickey requested a release from his contract as he would have brought his extensive experience and energy to our campaign, something that we were really looking forward to.”

De Wet added that former New Zealand wicketkeeper Luke Ronchi would be Smith’s assistant for the Twenty20 competition.

Ronchi retired from international cricket in 2017 but was appointed on a short-term contract this year by New Zealand Cricket as fielding and wicket-keeping coach for the Cricket World Cup in England earlier this year.

Reporting by Greg Stutchbury; Editing by Clarence Fernandez

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