South Africa news January 26, 2010

Arthur quits as South Africa coach

Cricinfo staff

Mickey Arthur has resigned as South Africa coach following a breakdown in his relationship with captain Graeme Smith. Former South African fast bowler Corrie van Zyl has been appointed caretaker coach and will be in charge of the team for the two-Test and three-ODI tour of India next month.

"The timing is very unfortunate with an exciting two-Test tour of India coming up but the international cricket calendar these days means that there is never a good time," Arthur told Reuters. "But all good things must come to an end and now is the time for someone else to take over."

Officials in Cricket South Africa were unavailable for comment but a board release said Arthur and its CEO, Gerald Majola, would address the press on Wednesday morning. "We're not commenting on the issue until tomorrow," Michael Owen-Smith, a spokesman for CSA, said. "We're not saying anything until Mickey Arthur has had his say."

A report in the Witness said the relationship between Arthur and Smith had "deteriorated irreparably", and reached a flashpoint during the recent home series against England. It also said Vincent Barnes, South Africa's bowling coach, has been sacked.

Kepler Wessels, a former South Africa captain, was not surprised by the development. "There has been some speculation in the last couple of weeks, so it is not a total surprise," he told "I still think it is sad, he did a good job for South Africa."

Arthur reportedly had talks with Majola in Johannesburg following the completion of the home series against England. Majola had said the meeting was not in response to the 1-1 series result and that it had been planned in December.

"The Proteas are our greatest asset and the meeting will discuss ways in which they can get even better," Majola had said. "This is our last opportunity to meet with the management of the team - including coach Mickey Arthur and captain Graeme Smith - before they go to India and then on to the West Indies for the World Twenty20 and the tour of the islands. The next time we can have a meeting like this is in June.

"Our financial year ends in April and we need to know what the Proteas need to improve. Maybe they need a specialist coach of some kind, or more medical staff - but we have to include that in our budget for the next financial year."

During Arthur's tenure, which began when he succeeded Ray Jennings in 2005, South Africa won their first series in England in over 40 years and achieved their maiden series victory in Australia in 2008-09. "I am very proud of what the Proteas have achieved while I was coach, especially being ranked number one in both forms of the game in the last 12 months and winning series in England and Australia," he said.

Arthur's resignation came four days before South Africa leave for India. Van Zyl, his temporary replacement, was South Africa's assistant coach in the past and was appointed coach of CSA's high-performance centre in Pretoria in 2009.

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Khawaja on January 29, 2010, 14:06 GMT

    well ashwell seemed to start out very well until he got injured before teh australian tour...his grit was good only in the middle order and as an opener he played with edgs of his bat...u cant always play two spinners and for spinners to want to play u should use the south african model of playing different spinners in different formats..usually a good fast bowler can play well in any format like teh aussies but that is not true for other for trott and pieterson it is beneficial to have your former nationals playing in other sides...they seemed to help out the south africans several times...u get soft when u are playing aginst your own former country methinks...corry it seems will emphasize on players having problems but he seems a bit harsher than the smiling micky arthur...

  • TONY on January 29, 2010, 10:53 GMT

    It is great to see the emphasis Corrie van Zyl places on Ashwell Prince. He is a huge asset to South Africa. Very unfairly left out after injury and being forced to come in as opening batsman. A is a classy test player with grit and tenacity and has a good team attitude. Australia do not distinguish between Test and ODI bowlers. Johan Botha too valuable to be labelled ODI spinner. Very good to see he has been included in the Test squad for India. The new selector committee, must be careful that South Africa do not lose more very gifted players of the calibre of Strauss, trott and Pietersen. I thought the ongoing booing of Pietersen by a section of SA spectators, was boorish and distasteful. He is gifted and took his gift elsewhere

  • Khawaja on January 29, 2010, 7:23 GMT

    removing selectors is not madness..mike procter and craig mathews are known amongst the selectors...i think afew doubts exist about their selections for various positions especially mclaren as a middle order all rounder, prince as opener and parnel as a left arm was thought that procter, micky and graeme coordinated on selections although procter usually got his say...they have not solved the opening problem for the india tour unless they want to try alviro or amla...they solved the spinners issue by selecting both...having a new group of selectors would not make too much of a differenec when u have a settled system of junior and senior players.there is a good opener in the emrging players as well as agood fast india the pitches should be slow and u will need stock bowlers and probably the batsmen should have it easier as the sri lankans did thrash the indians about a bit..although the indians have a lineup of good batsmen.mithun and ishant are teh indian fastmen

  • Khawaja on January 28, 2010, 11:32 GMT

    well there is a time to appoint and a time to retire and remove...great comments kamikaze..kallis and ntini are both great abatsman kallis has no equal..i dont think transformation alone was the problem..there seemed some problem either on a brown-white basis or a coach-captain basis or might be even a coach selectors...the team definitely underperformed..the coach has had a great run and he should be allowed to see if he can make his fortunes in the international arena...gary kirsten is probably the best coach at the moment..micky could try for an england job or even pakistan which really does not trust coaches too much...a change in mangement of the board, selectors and coach could signal a new era...but u just donot chuck underperformers out of the , management and selectors are changeable and many suggest they should have a term and than see their performance...analyze and see if their usefulness is truly over.. a team is usually carried by a few players

  • John on January 28, 2010, 9:35 GMT

    In conjunction with the sacking of selectors this is utter madness. CSA need to come out and declare transparently how they are judging their coaches and selectors. I would be very suprised to find out that media rumours of a captain-coach split were true. Far more likely the coach and the selectors failed to meet transformation quota's.

    So, we'll spend the next 5 years trying to get where we are now...except we won't have the benefit or a great player of colour like Ntini or the player of the decade Kallis (sorry are the captain of the decade for sure). This is a big backwards step and is going to de-stablise the team.

    If anyone thinks the coach and selectors are judged on results they are seriously deluded. 7 men ended up carrying 4 other either new or under-performing members during this last series...but at least we had a solid core of players and coach...

    What chance in India..not much mate.

  • Khawaja on January 28, 2010, 6:37 GMT

    i think vaughans comments were quite appropriate..that graeme smith makes the decisions with boucher, kallis, devillers as his close confidants...the indian coach was mentioned but i think with a long serving captain a coach can at best be a side kick who tries to iron out the kinks in the bowlers and battsmen...a coach usually has to see to it that everyone exercises the routines which keeps the fielders on their toes...south africans have been brilliant fielders and that is due to coaching and obviously personal effort...

  • Khawaja on January 28, 2010, 6:08 GMT

    as opener i meant abie devillers instead of albie morkel...than there was boje as well and obviously in spinners they have three or four to choose from...harris has a past record of performance in tests and botha did well in australia in one dayers apart from van der merve...obviously bosman could be a great opener seeing how he played in the 20-20' the choices are there for south africa to make and the selectors should see domestic performance, fitness tiredness in selection...australia has opted for the system of leaving out the best players for two or three matches to get then fully rested and energetic..even in left armers they could choose tsotsobe who has shown a wicket taking ability

  • Khawaja on January 27, 2010, 17:37 GMT

    rigidity in selection is the opposite of keeping a consistent team...prince himself was a bit wary of opening...there must be some good opening batsman in south africa if bosman is thought tobe non test material...there is albie morkel as well as amla and of course gibbs...who should have been tried after prince started to fail...we do have a cafe latte at the moment but there are black and brown players of worth in south africa and of course selection should reflect teh countries ethnic mix...countries thrive on seeing their provincial or their community players...south africas old team has disappeared and a new one has not been properly put in place...that is what coaching is about that the problems of the players are analyzed and rectified apart from physical aptitude training...south africa must look for new capable batsmen all the time...their bowling strengths have usually been adequate...well if harris is bowling full tosses than the captain should go upto him

  • TONY on January 27, 2010, 16:24 GMT

    QUOTE " What I did glean was that pressure he was under given that his side were 1-0 at that time. He joked about losing his job. He also talked candidly about the politics involved in South African cricket at the board level and the sensitivities of the decision to leave out Makhaya Ntini for the third Test. "

    Lets face it the powers that be say the make up of the team brew must be black coffee only, in the short term. Too much milk is cafe' latte. Whether this mix allows us to be competitive Internationally , is best evaluated in looking at the International prospects of Bafana bafana

  • TONY on January 27, 2010, 13:21 GMT

    Posted by mmoosa on (January 26 2010, 14:08 PM GMT On this reasoning, we should rigidly persevere with Prince as a opening batsman. Also see Harris continue bowling full tosses and not turning the ball to batsmen of International class. Botha is not unproven got one thing right Utter rubbsih !

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