Australia sack Arthur, Darren Lehmann is new coach

Bristol (UK), June 24 (IANS) Cricket Australia (CA) has sacked national coach Mickey Arthur weeks before the first Ashes Test begins at Nottingham July 10. Former Australia all-rounder Darren Lehmann has been named the new coach.

Arthur was appointed in November 2011 and during his tenure Australia won 10 of 19 Tests, 18 of 39 ODIs and seven of 16 T20s.

CA CEO James Sutherland said removing Arthur from the post right before the Ashes was a difficult decision.

"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," Sutherland said here Monday.

"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," he said.

"The timing is far from ideal less than three weeks out from an Ashes series, but we didn't feel we could sit back and hope things would change. We had to tackle the critical issues that go to the heart of a high performing team environment. We firmly believe that the decisions made will be for the best."

Sutehrland said, "While it was clearly a very difficult decision, we take this moment to acknowledge Mickey's passion and commitment to Australian cricket and the Australian cricket team and thank him for all his hard work and efforts."

Arthur was disappointed with CA's move.

"Naturally, I'm very disappointed with how this has all ended. I certainly wanted to see the job through but I accept that the team hasn't been completely galvanised under my leadership and our performances have been inconsistent," said the South African.

"I'm certainly a believer in good culture and traditions much like all Australians and feel we were starting to get a shift in the right direction. We certainly need the team to be absolutely unified if we're any chance of beating the English.

On Lehmann's appointment, Sutherland said: "Darren Lehmann has had outstanding success in a short time with Queensland Cricket winning the Bupa Sheffield Shield, Ryobi One-Day Cup and KFC T20 Big Bash League all within the last two years. He will be contracted until June 2016."

"The Board considered him the outstanding candidate to drive the performance improvement the team needs and to take it to the number one ranking in all formats of the game. No-one is underestimating the task at hand but we believe he is the right man for the job. It is up to the players to respond under his leadership and demonstrate their commitment to a successful Australian team."

At the same time, captain Michael Clarke has stepped down as a selector of the team.

"Michael first approached Pat Howard in April after the recent Indian series and requested to stand down as a selector so that he could focus on his team's and his own preparation to play international cricket. This change will allow Michael to focus his primary responsibilities as a player and as captain," Sutherland said.

Matches

MORE TOP STORIES TODAY

On Now: Chennai vs Punjab

On Now: Chennai vs Punjab

McCullum's lightning fifty propels Chennai after Dhoni elects to bat at Abu Dhabi. More »

Evenly matched Rajasthan and Hyderabad face-off

Evenly matched Rajasthan and Hyderabad face-off

A quality that defines Rajasthan and Hyderabad is consistency. Rajasthan was one among two teams to enjoy complete dominance at home last season. Hyderabad… More »

Beleaguered Yuvraj tees off to Sharjah's delight

Beleaguered Yuvraj tees off to Sharjah's delight

Yuvraj Singh was hardly convincing to begin with against Delhi, but a big dose of crowd support and a helping of poor bowling meant he had the opportunity… More »

Trott to take 'immediate break' from cricket

Trott to take 'immediate break' from cricket

The England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) on Friday confirmed that batsman Jonathan Trott is to take another break from all cricket with immediate eff… More »

Fiery star Stokes bids to curb his temper

Fiery star Stokes bids to curb his temper

England all-rounder Ben Stokes admits he must keep his anger under control if he is to end his international exile. More »

Bangalore's arsenal blazes to victory

Bangalore's arsenal blazes to victory

Yuvraj Singh was back to his best in his first match for Royal Challengers Bangalore. More »

Pakistan cricketers face probe

Pakistan cricketers face probe

Pakistani cricket authorities have launched an investigation after a number of current international stars played in exhibition matches in the United States… More »

BCCI to meet before next court hearing

BCCI to meet before next court hearing

The BCCI will hold an emergent working committee meeting on April 20 to discuss the future course of action with regard to the Supreme Court hearing concerning… More »

Gavaskar wants a clean IPL

Gavaskar wants a clean IPL

"Integrity is non-negotiable..." says the BCCI's interim chief ahead of Season 7 of the tainted league. More »

Kallis, Narine star in KKR win

Kallis, Narine star in KKR win

An all-round display saw Knight Riders thump Mumbai Indians by 41 runs in the IPL-7 opener. More »

'Yak' Kallis still on top of his game

'Yak' Kallis still on top of his game

The 38-year-old South African veteran turned it on for Kolkata Knight RIders in the opening match of IPL-7. More »

Time for Chennai to enter familiar cocoon

Time for Chennai to enter familiar cocoon

Chennai have an emphatic 8-3 lead in the head-to-head with Punjab, with one game tied More »

Srinivasan named in fixing report: SC

Srinivasan named in fixing report: SC

The court emphasised that the tainted administrator can no longer work for the BCCI. More »

Yuvraj happy to play for RCB: Kohli

Yuvraj happy to play for RCB: Kohli

New-look RCB will play their first game of IPL-7 on Thursday. More »

IPL: News Line

IPL: News Line

A round-up of all the news from this season of the IPL. More »

Shane Watson issues moral warning

Shane Watson issues moral warning

'Everyone knows what is right and what is wrong and if you do the wrong thing it will be found out' More »

Why I'm not looking forward to the IPL

Why I'm not looking forward to the IPL

Welcome to another season of a league that many watch but few trust. More »

Johnson may quit T20s for Tests

Johnson may quit T20s for Tests

Australia's Mitchell Johnson may quit limited-overs cricket to prolong his test career with an eye on the 2015 Ashes series in England, the fast bowler… More »

Nepal players call off boycott

Nepal players call off boycott

Thaw in relations after formation of an advisory committee that would work in tandem with the Cricket Association of Nepal. More »

There's a lot going on: Fleming

There's a lot going on: Fleming

He experienced anxious moments in the lead-up to the tournament as the courts decided on whether to suspend the franchise, he said, but stressed that the… More »

Latif couldn’t work with tainted players

Latif couldn’t work with tainted players

Former Pakistan cricket captain Rashid Latif said Tuesday he turned down the job of national chief selector because he could not work with ex-players tainted… More »

We are not over-confident: Bailey

We are not over-confident: Bailey

Indian Premier League — George Bailey-led Kings XI Punjab will face Chennai Super Kings on Friday. More »

Taxing issue — BCCI hits roadblock

Taxing issue — BCCI hits roadblock

MoU between BCCI & its units to avoid double taxation delayed after a few decline to share details. More »

Big runs expected, with bat and ball

Big runs expected, with bat and ball

Royal Challengers Bangalore: Their main concern, once again, is the fast bowling More »