Australia news July 16, 2013

Mickey Arthur legal claims leaked

ESPNcricinfo staff

Former Australia coach Mickey Arthur has reportedly claimed in legal documents that Michael Clarke described Shane Watson and his faction as "a cancer" on the national squad, while also alleging he was the victim of racial discrimination during his time with the team.

The Seven Network has reported the documents tendered to the Fair Work Commission in Sydney, which form part of Arthur's claim for up to AUD 4 million in compensation from Cricket Australia or his job back after his sacking last month, two years before his contract was due to expire. The network reported that the documents claimed "major tension" between Clarke and Watson, and that Arthur felt he was "the meat in the sandwich" between them.

Arthur has released a statement on the leaking of the documents, describing his distress at their details becoming public. "I am extremely upset and disappointed that confidential documents appear to have been given by others to the media," Arthur said. "The matters raised in my application to the FWC concerning issues within the Australian cricket team are very sensitive, which is why I was at pains to keep them confidential, especially at this time.

"I have kept them confidential,unfortunately others have now made them public. I want to stress how important to me the members of the team were, and still remain to me. The welfare of the Australian cricket team is upmost to me."

Arthur's legal representation confirmed allegations of racial discrimination and scapegoating. "We can confirm that last week Mickey Arthur filed proceedings on a number of grounds in the Fair Work Commission (FWC) Sydney for being sacked and scapegoated," a spokesperson for Arthur's law firm said. "The grounds include racial discrimination. This legal action was filed confidentially with FWC as Mickey was at pains to resolve this issue privately."

Speaking at Lord's on Tuesday, Clarke said the airing of the team's dirty laundry would not be allowed to derail their preparations for the second Ashes Test.

"First I'm not going to get involved in it, the most important thing is that we as a team are as focused as we can be on Thursday," Clarke said. "We've obviously got a huge game in front of us, the boys are feeling great, as we showed in the last Test match we're here to fight and do as well as we possibly can in this Test series, and I think we showed that the other day."

Arthur also allegedly reported in the documents that Watson had told him about David Warner's punch at Joe Root in a Birmingham pub during the Champions Trophy, which led to Warner's suspension. Watson previously stated that he was not responsible for passing the information on to Arthur.

The Seven Network also reported that in the documents Arthur claimed Cricket Australia did not support him over the decision to suspend four players on the tour of India over the so-called homework incident. Arthur alleged that he was discriminated against because he was South African and did not understand the Australian way.

"We're disappointed it has come to this position but Cricket Australia is confident in its position on this matter and I'm sure it will get resolved in an appropriate fashion," CA lawyer Dean Kino said.

Paul Marsh, the chief executive of the Australian Cricketers' Association, said he was "extremely disappointed by the allegations" and the timing of their release ahead of the second Ashes Test at Lord's.

"At Mickey's departing press conference he talked about taking responsibility for the team's performances and leaving the job with dignity," Marsh said. "I fail to see how this course of action is consistent with his words and I am disappointed that this has been released two days before such an important Test match.

"Whilst I have genuine sympathy for Mickey's current situation, I hope he can deal with his issues with Cricket Australia privately."

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Dummy4 on July 18, 2013, 7:33 GMT

    I feel for Micky Arthur here as confidential information has leaked and he is being blamed. It not in his interest to spill the beans and from what I have seen he is not the type. He will find a difficult time finding a new position because of this.

  • Matthew on July 17, 2013, 22:37 GMT

    Mickey will have a few things to argue before he gets any compensation - Yes Cricket Australia may have to pay out at least some type of compensation, the ultimate deal will be whether or not his sacking was justified under the contract. I would be very surprised if there wasn't a clause in the contract that allowed for early termination of contract upon certain circumstances - and would be VERY surprised if CA didn't get any legal advice before the sacking. In the end it was under Mickey's reign that all of the rifts etc were aired and allowed to happen and in the end as he is the head coach he is ultimately responsible for how the players behave and act. It's the same in any other organisation. Lehmann seems to have united the players better - at least in the short term - and my guess is that there was a lot of tension between the players and Mickey, and this was manifesting itself in rifts between players. Ultimate Mickey could control his subords and so needed to go.

  • Dummy4 on July 17, 2013, 21:47 GMT

    @Fieryorc and "Who created this mess ? " Exactly ! Sport and business cannot be separated these days . Arthur has every contractual right to sue CA management who , once again , seem hopelessly out of their depth .

    The next episode in this sorry saga will reveal who in CA leaked the information to the press .....

  • j on July 17, 2013, 20:52 GMT

    This is the most awful news yet for Australia. How Clarke described Watson, along with his general leadership of the team, is described by Arthur in a sincere an honest way. He has the right to speak his mind.

  • Anand on July 17, 2013, 20:29 GMT

    Coach Mickey Mouse can talk all he wants saying "he really believed they could win the ashes". He said they had a good chance in India too, atleast to learn a great bit. Truth being said the Australia performance during his tenure has not been that good, so you couldnt give him any benefit of doubt going into the Ashes, Its early days for Darren Lehmann too, but the players seems to warm up to him better.

  • Dave on July 17, 2013, 14:50 GMT

    There are a number of people saying pay him and others saying don't. Well - it's simple. Unless he had team performance clauses in his contract Cricket Australia broke his contract - he didn't. If there were performance clauses then I doubt whether he would be trying to sue for breach of contract. I don't know the terms of his contract so I can't say whether he deserves to be paid compensation. If those of you who have expressed an opinion one way or the other are you aware of those terms? If not, on what basis are you expressing an opinion?

  • David on July 17, 2013, 14:49 GMT

    @ MV Segar. I think you are missing a bigger picture about Australian batting. We all like to chuckle that their bowlers are currently their top batsmen, but the recent exploits of Stard, Siddle and Agar demonstrate the breadth of cricket training all Aus players get. When their batting picks up - which it will - they will be very tough to deal with. I agree Warner was a bad opener, & have argued that he would be a much better 5 or 6. However, the man is very very talented, and a coach like Lehman might well slap some sense into him & get out of him his great potential, a destructive all rounder. If he starts taking his job seriously, and works hard on his bowling, which is pretty promising, he could be a great Aus asset for years.

    Australia's problems are not lack of talent, but rather lack of effective management & administration. If that is resolved, watch out.

    P.S. I'm not an Aussie - just a realist.

  • David on July 17, 2013, 14:27 GMT

    @ TheBigBoodha. I highly rate any Australian team, & believe that, under most circumstances, they post the biggest challenge to SA for the #1 test position, & that they will soon be back in the top 3 or 2 in one format at least.

    That said, please stop reinventing history. You wrote, " They (Australia) were two wickets away from a number one ranking in tests little more than 6 months ago vs SA? " That is incorrect. Australia required a SERIES WIN to retake the #1 spot. They were 2 wickets away from a single test win. If Aus won Adelaide, to win the series they would have had to win or draw in Perth. Adelaide alone would not have brought them the number one ranking. Thus they were "2 wickets and a 'win or draw' away from #1."

    Aus would have lost the ranking after their India tour. So at best they were "2 wickets & a 'win or draw' away from 3 months as #1." I think that MV Segar is dead wrong, but you should not reply to his invalid assertions with a hazy version of history.

  • Harriet on July 17, 2013, 13:23 GMT

    From a legal perspective, CA should settle and settle quickly, or this could get very nasty indeed.

  • Richard on July 17, 2013, 13:22 GMT

    Rather unprofessional of Mickey one would have to say.