Sacking 'totally unfair', says Arthur
Mickey Arthur has claimed he had no choice but to take legal action against Cricket Australia over the "totally unfair basis" for his sacking. Arthur has also said he was given a positive appraisal by Cricket Australia before the Ashes tour and that his reputation had suffered extensive damage after his axing, which would make it hard for him to find another job.
Arthur has been in South Africa since his sacking and on Sunday arrived in Perth, where he delivered a statement to the media. Arthur reiterated that he was not responsible for last week's leaking of details of his legal claim against Cricket Australia, in which a rift between Michael Clarke and Shane Watson was detailed. But he homed in on the CA chief executive James Sutherland's admission that Arthur had been made a "scapegoat" as the key to his case.
"James Sutherland himself said that, to an extent, I had been made, I quote, 'a scapegoat'," Arthur said. "I find that a totally unfair basis to end my career. The damage to my reputation and career has been immense, which means the chances of me getting a senior job are that much less. I was truly shocked and devastated by my dismissal. I had received a positive appraisal on all my key performance indicators just prior to departing for the Ashes tour.
"I am told that David Warner's conduct was 'the last straw' for the board. I received no hearing at all over that issue, and no one was doing more to improve discipline in the young Australian team than I was. After my dismissal, I received nothing in writing from Cricket Australia, no contact, and no payment at all, not even of my basic leave pay, until I was forced to bring in lawyers to assist in the process. I had tried on a number of occasions to make direct contact at a very senior level of Cricket Australia, for days there was just no response.
"I thought, perhaps naively, that, under all the circumstances of my dismissal, that Cricket Australia would be willing to have sensible and good faith talks in private. Sadly that hasn't happened. And here we are today. I never wanted to launch legal action but Cricket Australia simply left me no option."
Arthur said the handling of David Warner's punch at Joe Root in a Birmingham bar during the Champions Trophy had been the catalyst for his axing, despite his attempts to instil discipline in the developing squad.
Responding to Arthur, CA released the following statement: "Cricket Australia stands by its earlier statements on this matter and disputes a number of claims made by Mickey Arthur today. We will not be articulating these disputes publicly except to say that we are confident in our legal position, are comfortable with the level of support provided to Mickey and look forward to resolving this matter in an appropriate manner."
Arthur and CA will hold conciliation talks this week in Sydney.