Investec Ashes 2013 July 4, 2013

Arthur sacking 'inevitable' - Moody


Tom Moody, the former Australia cricketer and Sri Lanka coach, has described Australia's decision to sack Mickey Arthur as "inevitable" and suggested that the "respect was being lost" between the players and the coach in the weeks before his removal.

Moody, who played alongside the new coach, Darren Lehmann, in the Australia World Cup winning side of 1999, suggested Arthur was doomed from the moment that four members of the Test squad were sent home from the tour of India for disciplinary reasons.

He believed that the new appointment of Lehmann will help the side rediscover their enjoyment of the game and return to playing fearless cricket.

"It was clear during the Champions Trophy that the team were unsettled," Moody said. "They were walking on eggshells. They were uncertain of their own futures, they were uncertain of the team dynamic and they were uncertain how the team was going to perform.

"I said at the time that it was a dramatic decision to send players home from India. From that moment, it was going to very hard for the management to stay in control of that side.

"He had lost the trust and one of the most important things in the relationship between a coach and a player is trust.

"It's a dramatic thing to send players home because of an accumulation of misdemeanours and to me you've got to look at why guys are turning up five minutes late or wearing the wrong shirt. All those things do matter in a team environment, but it shouldn't result in losing a Test cap.

"The reasons are that maybe, slowly, respect was being lost between player and management and those bad habits were creeping in because of that. So it was inevitable the unfortunate situation with Mickey Arthur. I do feel for him because he is a good man and he's been a good coach over time but he had clearly lost control and Cricket Australia clearly sensed that."

Moody, who spent time with the team during their Investec Ashes warm-up game against Somerset at Taunton, said that the change in the environment once Lehmann was appointed was instant and positive. While he accepted the current Australian squad was more modestly talented than some of its predecessors, he felt that Lehmann's promotion would at least help create an environment where players could fulfil their ability.

"I spent some time with the side in Somerset and it was such a contrast to a week earlier," Moody said. "Where there had been a fragile side, there was a side that was suddenly enjoying playing cricket, which is the way I remember playing in any Australia team. It was an environment that was good fun and where everyone enjoyed each others' company. There was an underlying confidence in that atmosphere.

"Australia still have a lot of work to do. They haven't just inherited a Don Bradman with the bat or a Dennis Lillee with the ball. But the appointment of Lehmann means they have secured a mentor or coach who will create an environment where players will feel free to enjoy themselves within limitations and, more importantly, to express themselves under pressure on the field of play without fearing for the consequences if it doesn't go their way."

George Dobell is a senior correspondent at ESPNcricinfo

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Ivan on July 6, 2013, 7:54 GMT

    Moody exaggerates the influence that Arthur had. The players didn't want him from day one and in the end they achieved their ends. The appointment of Lehmann is not going to solve all the ills in Australian cricket and that will be shown over the next year or two. What amazes me is that Mickey Arthur with all his experience didn't see what the outcome was likely to be the day he accepted the appointment.

  • Android on July 6, 2013, 2:54 GMT

    arthur was never a good coach. he had smith kallis boucher n styen in SA....AUS under him were gud when pointing n Hussey were there...we saw what happened once they left...he just rode a gud luck of having winning team with SA.....boof is better .... u need to play criclet to be cricket coach....hitting around the bushes wont take u far..hard luck mickey.....AUS will win the ASHES 2-1.. they need to play ....Watson Rogers Khawaja Clarke Smith Haddin Warner Agar Pattison Starc Harris...this team should do it. lyon siddle n hughes can play against other teams but not against SA ENG IND n SRILANKA. ....

  • Cameron on July 5, 2013, 14:05 GMT

    Who cares if they were sent how or left out? We all know what happened!

  • Mariam on July 5, 2013, 10:38 GMT

    skiranths good comments but i would argue coaching is more people based, if you have the skills to deal with the people you can do well and that's where boof is excellent at, winning the folks he is coaching plus he is so well respected.

  • Allan on July 5, 2013, 7:44 GMT

    Boof will do a fantastic job as coach, already positive signs coming out of our batting unit with Hughes, Khawaja and Watson looking great.

  • Phil on July 5, 2013, 7:38 GMT

    Moody's point on the homework saga is correct, the whole episode was a PR exercise done to distract attention from our onfield performances. 2 of the 4 players in that homework drama had not even played a game in the series yet double standards were applied when the bar incident with Root happened and it was almost pushed under the carpet until it was supposedly bought up by Watson.I for one am really glad to see Arthur go and really excited by boof's tenure as coach.

  • Adrian on July 5, 2013, 4:08 GMT

    Much as I like Lehmann as coach a lot more than Arthur, I can't help but think that we should have tried a bit harder to secure Moody as the coach. Moody is clearly the best international coach going around and it is shameful that he is yet to be approached to coach his own country.

  • Rob on July 5, 2013, 2:00 GMT

    This is really poor journalism. "Arthur was doomed from the moment that four members of the Test squad were sent home from the tour of India for disciplinary reasons. "

    No-one was sent home. Four players were told that they were ineligible for the following Test as punishment. Only one player went home, and that was of his own volition being for family reasons.

  • richard on July 5, 2013, 1:58 GMT

    Four players weren't sent home.