CA hopes for new Lehmann-Clarke alliance to start team 'healing' ahead of Ashes

Sydney, June 25 (ANI): Following the sacking of head coach Mickey Arthur, Cricket Australia (CA) is reportedly hoping that the alliance between new coach Darren Lehmann and captain Michael Clarke will make for a happier atmosphere in the team and start the healing process ahead of the Ashes.

CA chief executive James Sutherland had confirmed on Monday night that coach Mickey Arthur had been sacked, Darren Lehmann had been appointed as his replacement for the next two years and captain Michael Clarke was standing down as a selector, all just over a fortnight before the Ashes begin, the Sydney Morning Herald reports.

Stating that the sports hierarchy could no longer sit back and watch on as the national team combined dismal on-field performance with lapses in off-field discipline, Sutherland said that the CA did not want the team to get to a stage where they looked back on this Ashes series and felt that they could have done something about it, for which they decided to change the status quo.

Expressing his disappointment at the sacking of Arthur, Sutherland said that although Arthur is a good man and has tried his best, he was unfortunately unable to do that this season, adding that the CA has not taken this decision lightly as they are aware that a baggy green cap is important to all Australian cricketers.

However, the report added, Australia A players loved playing under Lehmann and Brad Haddin, privately reporting a team spirit that had been missing for months, with Usman Khawaja making no attempt to hide his enjoyment of the culture under Lehmann during the A tour.

Praising his Queensland coach Lehmann as 'awesome', Khawaja, who has said that he is misunderstood by some of the top brass at CA, stated that he has a good relationship with Lehmann, adding that even though he is tough, he has a good cricket brain and makes sure that the players have fun while playing.

Khawaja further said that he believed that with his vast experience, Lehmann has a lot to offer to Australian cricket in years to come.'

Meanwhile, Clarke has said that although he was initially shocked to be told of Arthur's axing, he believed that player power had not played a role in the coach's firing, adding that decision has nothing to do with either himself or any of the players

The coaching issue was discussed deeply by the CA board at their last two meetings, stretching back as far as May before David Warner's two public meltdowns, but the decision to remove Arthur was not made until the weekend, the report added. (ANI)

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