The Ashes 2013-14 November 20, 2013

Arthur hits back at Haddin criticism

ESPNcricinfo staff

Former Australia coach Mickey Arthur has defended himself against criticism from Brad Haddin, who said Arthur was "very, very insecure" as coach and had contributed to the negative atmosphere around the team. Haddin said this week that there were smiles on the faces of the players in the lead-up to this Ashes series, unlike the previous series in England, in which Arthur was sacked shortly before the first Test and replaced with Darren Lehmann.

Haddin said Lehmann had reminded the players of the brand of cricket they wanted to play and had sent a clear message of how to get there, while Arthur had not been "secure enough in himself to get us to where we needed to go". However, Arthur responded during an interview on Perth radio on Wednesday, in which he noted that Haddin had not been part of the setup for much of the time Arthur was in charge.

"Brad for a long period of the time wasn't part of the team," Arthur said. "So for Brad to say those things is a little bit naive. Brad wasn't aware of the direction I was taking the team. Brad was one of the senior players who lost his place, was left out for a young guy like Matthew Wade to come in for us to build a brand that was going to be sustainable over a period of time, because at 35 the brand wasn't going to be sustainable with Brad Haddin keeping wicket.

"A couple of them that were jumping at shadows were the guys who weren't doing what was expected, those were the guys trying to take short cuts. You don't come in and mess with a culture that has been successful ... [but] the cycle had turned, we had lost a lot of experienced players, which meant we needed to create our own brand, our own culture, and put in place a sustainable value system that any player coming up from state level could walk straight in and feel comfortable and know what is expected of them.

"I did that job to the best of my ability, I can look back on my time there and say I gave it an almighty crack. If that crack wasn't good enough, I can live with that, but I did try to get Australian cricket back to where it deserved to be."

Arthur was appointed head coach in late 2011, following the departure of Tim Nielsen in the months after the Argus report, which in turn followed the disastrous 2010-11 Ashes campaign at home.

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  • Mashuq on November 21, 2013, 13:05 GMT

    What you ignore @landl47 on (November 20, 2013, 21:39 GMT) is the quality of the players brought in and the opportunities provided or in some instances not provided. As an instance of the latter consider Khawaja. He was eventually played not by Arthur but by Boof. But when? After cooling his heels for 6 months. This was as bad as the treatment meted out to Hughes at the time of his "second coming" (ie before Arthur) when he was palpably out of form. As for the quality, just consider the selection of the team to go to India in February and the uproar on this site at the non-selection of certain individuals in contrast to those selected. Arthur played a part in these decisions. Agree @JohnnyRook on (November 20, 2013, 9:48 GMT) about the non-accountability of those like Sutherland who appointed Arthur. Btw, Paine got injured so he did not get a raw deal. I've been keenly following his batting which looks like it might be coming right. He'll also be a good v-c.

  • Oz on November 21, 2013, 9:32 GMT

    Haddin 2, Arthur 0. Sustainable brands don't score 78no when your team is in a big hole.

  • Mike on November 21, 2013, 9:08 GMT

    The fact that Arthur keeps on and on describing what he was trying to create as a 'brand' really says it all about what's wrong with his management style. And an awful lot of modern sport.

  • Jason on November 21, 2013, 2:16 GMT

    There has to come a point in time when both parties let it go, this has dragged on for long enough and reflects poorly on all involved.

  • John on November 20, 2013, 21:39 GMT

    Arthur tried to change the direction of the Australian team by bringing in young players. Inevitably, that was going to mean a period where Australia's results would suffer. Australian administrators and fans, having been on top for so long, weren't prepared to accept that. Whether it would have worked or not, who can say? But it was a valid philosophy.

    Lehmann has come in and brought in experienced (read 'old') players. Australia now has 6 players of 32 or more, including 2 who are 36. The latest debutant seems set to be Bailey, who is 31. Youth has gone out of the window in an attempt to win now. Will it work? We'll soon see.

    The downside is that the team is going to have to be rebuilt almost immediately even if it is successful. If Australia loses this series, what then? I'd suggest that Australia will have to drop a lot of the present squad and bring in young players- in effect, go back to the Arthur plan.

    England fans know all about this. We call it the 1990s.

  • suresh on November 20, 2013, 19:27 GMT

    What it all comes down to, is the fact that the Aussies could not get along too well with Arthur. So, no point blaming Arthur for all the ills…..blame it on the guys who appointed him.

  • Srinivas on November 20, 2013, 17:27 GMT

    Green_and_Gold - You are right. He might not have been the best person for the role. Somehow things went downward during his tenure. Cowan, Khawaja, Quiney,Forrest and a list of top order batters who were tried during his tenure and none of them actually came out successful. Suddenly with Darren the team looks more settled (even though only on paper, it is still a good sign).

    I also agree that the homework saga was ugly. The fact that he could not bring in Simon Katich tells volumes about the power he had solely in his hand. CA made a wrong decision to sack MA in that manner.

  • Justin on November 20, 2013, 16:31 GMT

    @SrinivasPachari - Im not a hater of Arthur i just dont think he was the right person for the role. Hes not the only person to find themselves in that position. I supported the team with him at the coaching helm - i had hoped that he was successful in this role cause that would have meant that Aus were in a better position.

  • a on November 20, 2013, 15:24 GMT

    Front-Foot is right - pick the best team. But for large parts of Arthurs tenure that is not what happened and for that the selectors are largely responsible. You can bung youngsters in if they are burning brightly even if they have not burned for a long time. But Phil Hughes, Usman Khawaja and Rob Quinney were not the new Allan Border or Steve Waugh, Wade was not the new Adam Gilchrist, Xavier Doherty was not the new anybody... I could go on .. Someone like a Bailey and a Rogers is not picking experience for its own sake either but Bailey because hes one of the best performers in ODIs so deserves a go at translating that and Rogers is just a very decent batter with excellent FC record

  • Nicholas on November 20, 2013, 15:17 GMT

    One half century in what 8 or 9 innings and missing a good chance to catch Joe Root on 8, who then went on to get a hundred that cemented England position in the match and series. YEAH I agree Lehman has really brought the best out of Haddin, real world class performances. NO way Wade could have matched those.

    Its a good thing they are investing for the future....

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