LONDON, (Reuters) – Australia have sacked their coach Mickey Arthur and replaced him with Darren Lehmann just over two weeks before the start of the Ashes series against England.
The team have endured a series of poor results, losing a test series in India 4-0 this year, and there have been a number of disciplinary issues in the squad.
“We’ve made a tough decision and the timing of this decision will have no doubt surprised and even shocked a lot of people,” Cricket Australia chief executive James Sutherland told a news conference in Bristol yesterday.
“It’s not a decision we’ve taken lightly, but a baggy green cap is something that is important to all Australian cricketers, it’s one of the great prizes in Australian sport.
“What we feel is that Australian cricket fans expect and know that through the great history and tradition with the baggy green cap there is a responsibly for performance.
Sutherland said results had simply not been good enough.
“Consistency of behaviour, accountability for performance and discipline, they are things we like to see in a team that is improving.” he said.
“We have recognised issues and concerns about that in months gone by and in recent times we haven’t seen the improvement there that we would like. The coach is not solely responsible for that, but ultimately we’ve made a decision we believe will make a difference in this area.”