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.