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Mickey Arthur sacked as Australia's coach

Brydon Coverdale

June 24, 2013

Comments: 254 | Text size: A | A

Australia coach Mickey Arthur speaks to the media in Perth, March 26, 2013
Mickey Arthur has been axed as Australia's coach © Getty Images

Mickey Arthur has been sacked as Australia's head coach less than three weeks before the start of the Investec Ashes and is expected to be replaced by Darren Lehmann. Cricket Australia is yet to officially announce the decision but the chief executive James Sutherland and general manager of team performance Pat Howard are due to hold a press conference in Bristol on Monday morning (UK time) to confirm the move.

It has also been reported that the captain Michael Clarke will relinquish his role as a selector as part of the change in structure that will be announced by Sutherland and Howard. Whether Lehmann would remain a selector is unclear.

Lehmann, who is in England having just finished a tour as the mentor of Australia A, has won rave reviews for the somewhat old-school approach he has taken with Queensland since he was appointed in 2011 and is widely regarded as one of the best coaches in Australian cricket.

But whatever the case, the axing of Arthur so close to the first Ashes Test, which begins on July 10, has left the Australian camp in a state of disarray. The squad was due to meet in Taunton on Monday ahead of their first tour game against Somerset, with some of the players having been part of the Australia A squad, some having been playing in the Champions Trophy and others having been warming up in county cricket.

The team will need to quickly become accustomed to the absence of Arthur, who was named head coach in November 2011. He replaced Tim Nielsen and the move came in the wake of the Argus Report into Australia's team performance, which was commissioned after Australia's thrashing at the hands of England in the home Ashes in 2010-11.

During Arthur's time in charge, Australia won 10 of their 19 Tests but the past few months had been especially challenging both on field and off it. The calamitous 4-0 defeat in India was overshadowed by the so-called homework sackings halfway through the trip, in which Arthur, captain Michael Clarke and team manager Gavin Dovey stood four players down for a Test for failing to complete an off-field task.

The Champions Trophy campaign, in which Australia failed to win a match, was also dominated by events away from the game, when David Warner punched England batsman Joe Root in a pub. Warner was suspended until the first Ashes Test but the incident raised questions about why a group of Australia players were out until the early hours of the morning following a loss.

Brydon Coverdale is an assistant editor at ESPNcricinfo. He tweets here

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Posted by   on (June 25, 2013, 12:32 GMT)

I for one wd think it is a better-late-than-never move. If Indian tour debacle was not an eye opener the CT performance must have come as a point of no return for CA. Atm, Australia does not look anywhere near making even a contest out of the Ashes series in England and so the timing of sacking Micky Arthur is okay. Sacking implies wrong selection in the first place. That CA has acted atleast now is redeeming in itself. Yet what ails cricket in Australia is lack of talent (ot its spotting) and the cultural styles which go with a consistent champion. Dominance comes at a cost. Talent can deliver it only when it is aligned to other things like an overwhelming obsession to dominate, team spirit, sacrificing other things at altar of the pursuit of the goal etc. It is not just cricketing skills and coaching that is needed. A leader who can fire the team with the ambition and provide direction is needed. I am not aware who in Australia is the best fit for that job. Hope Lehmann is.

Posted by hhillbumper on (June 25, 2013, 6:51 GMT)

So do the players have any role in this one? I mean it is them that keep losing or is that just the coaches fault?

Posted by   on (June 25, 2013, 4:30 GMT)

My way or Highway strategy never works.....................players are not slaves they are artists.

Posted by Partyman on (June 24, 2013, 21:13 GMT)

Never been a fan of Mickey Arthur. Nevertheless, I feel sorry for him at the moment. I guess the whole thing can be handled in a rather less acrimonious way. He should have stood down soon after India. I would say he was rather naive to have seen this coming. I wish him all the best for his future.

Posted by   on (June 24, 2013, 20:03 GMT)

so sad and the decision is taken at wrong stage of an important series. It is player who are responsible for the performance not the coach. Anyhow the decision is taken may be a change might give Aussies little luck to beat England in this Ashes.

Posted by Alexk400 on (June 24, 2013, 18:12 GMT)

I think michael clarke has to be removed from captaincy is best solution. Because he is their best batsman. And he constantly thinking about team unity instead of his batting. Clarke lacks leadership skills but good captaincy skills. So i prefer mellow captain for aussie team who ever that may be but he needs to be permanent member of the team. Aussie team was disbanded like 6 years ago when hayden retired , gilchrist retired. Fast forward still not a single permanent player in Aussie team. So for me aussie selectors and ceo laid egg. They are the first ones has to go , then captain , then coach. Order is in reverse. :)

Aussie needs skilled batsman. But they chopping and changing so much and destroying confidence of young players. Bowling wise ausssies are ok. Its batting that is the problem due illogical selection moves by captain,coach and selectors. where is new young blood? aussie need to bring few 19 year old batsman with lots of hunger and enthusiasm.

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Brydon CoverdaleClose
Brydon Coverdale Assistant Editor Possibly the only person to win a headline-writing award for a title with the word "heifers" in it, Brydon decided agricultural journalism wasn't for him when he took up his position with ESPNcricinfo in Melbourne. His cricketing career peaked with an unbeaten 85 in the seconds for a small team in rural Victoria on a day when they could not scrounge up 11 players and Brydon, tragically, ran out of partners to help him reach his century. He is also a compulsive TV game-show contestant and has appeared on half a dozen shows in Australia.
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