By BV Swagath
Australia faced a 0-4 whitewash in a Test Series in India, a tour where there were disciplinary issues as well with the likes of Shane Watson, Mitchell Johnson and a couple of other players dropped for not preparing a mere presentation asked by the then Coach Mickey Arthur.
Cricket Australia regretted that the decision it had taken was drastic but important considering the team’s extra-ordinarily poor performances in the recent times. Mickey Arthur, who is a former South Africa Coach, was appointed by Cricket Australia in November 2011. In the 19 Tests, he was in charge, Australia won only 10. In the ODI format, the record is very poor with the Aussies winning just 18 out of 39 ODIs under Arthur. Likewise, the record in T20Is is poor with the Aussies winning only 7 of the 16 matches under the 45-year-old Arthur.
James Sutherland, the CEO of Cricket Australia has been quoted in the Board’s official website saying – “This has been a difficult decision to make but one that we feel is necessary. We are looking to establish a high performing Australian cricket team that is consistent over a period of time. To achieve that, we need all the parts moving in the right direction. Recent on-field results have been too inconsistent.
Discipline, consistency of behaviour and accountability for performance are all key ingredients that need to improve. And we see that the head coach is ultimately responsible for that.
The Cricket Australia Board decided yesterday that Mickey Arthur should not continue as head coach of the Australian cricket team. In taking this decision, the Board accepted the recommendation to make an immediate change as being in the best interests of the team.”
Darren Lehmann, the successor of the South African Arthur, had played 27 Tests and 117 ODIs for Australia from 1998 to 2005. Now 43 years of age, Lehmann has been active in the role of Coach for various teams including the Rajasthan Royals and the Kings XI Punjab in the Indian Premier League. Lehmann is perhaps the recently retired cricketer to take over as the Coach of a national side.