Ashes 2013: Australia sack coach Mickey Arthur

first_imgAustralia coach Mickey Arthur has been sacked just 16 days before the start of the Ashes series against England.The South African faced criticism following poor performances and disciplinary issues within the camp.Cricket Australia say they will “discuss the coaching structure of the team” at a news conference in Bristol, scheduled for midday.Arthur, who was Australia’s first overseas coach, succeeding Tim Nielsen in 2011, told BBC Sport he was shocked.The 45-year-old will also address the media at the news conference.Reports in Australia have claimed that Australia captain Michael Clarke has stepped down from his role as a selector.Australian media have reported that former Test batsman Darren Lehmann, currently coaching the Australia A side in England, will replace Arthur.Lehmann played 27 Tests and 117 one-day internationals for Australia between 1996 and 2005.Michael Vaughan, the former England captain, said on Twitter that his former Yorkshire team-mate Lehmann “will get them right” if he was to take over the Australian side. The first Test against England starts on 10 July at Trent Bridge but Australia face two four-day warm-up matches beforehand. The first game against Somerset starts on Wednesday, 26 June and is followed by a game against Worcestershire from Tuesday, 2 July.Arthur coached Australia to 10 wins and six defeats in 19 Test matches.The latter stages of Arthur’s tenure were beset by problems on and off the field.In March 2013, four players – vice-captain Shane Watson, Mitchell Johnson, James Pattinson and Usman Khawaja – were dropped for the third Test of the tour to India for failing to submit presentations on team strategy.All-rounder Watson returned to captain the side for the fourth Test in place of the injured Michael Clarke, but defeat in Delhi saw Australia lose the series 4-0.In May, opening batsman David Warner was fined £3,700 (AU $5,750) for posting abusive comments to journalists on his Twitter account.Warner was later suspended until the first Ashes Test, and fined £7,000 (AU $11,500), for punching England’s Joe Root in a bar following Australia’s defeat to England in the Champions Trophy. Another loss in the third and final group game against Sri Lanka ensured that Australia finished bottom of their group in the Champions Trophy.Arthur hit 13 first-class centuries in a 15-year playing career with Griqualand West and Orange Free State, before moving into coaching following his retirement in 2001.He was in charge of South Africa from 2005 to 2010, leading them to a first series victory in England for 43 years and a maiden series win in Australia.Following a fall-out with the national board, Arthur quit the post in January 2010 and later coached Western Australia.Despite Australia’s recent on-field problems, Arthur recently claimed that his side had “the best bowling attack in the world”, and would put England under pressure in the Ashes.“England are a very good cricket side but I would like to see how they handle pressure for a sustained period of time,” he told Test Match Special. “I honestly believe we can win the Ashes – we have the best all-round bowling attack in world cricket.”Former England captain Michael Vaughan said on Twitter: “For the 1st time in months I am worried about Australia… If Darren Lehmann is the coach he will get them right”.Ex-Australia leg spinner Shane Warne took to the social networking website to say, “Is it true that Aussie cricket coach Mick Arthur has been sacked?”.Warne’s former Australian team-mate Dean Jones questioned the timing of Arthur’s dismissal on Twitter, saying: “So Mick has gone… Sacked jut before an Ashes series… Timing is not great.. Anyways it shows CA is serious. Nice bloke tho!”last_img