Cricket Australia Sacks Coach Mickey Arthur In Favor Of Darren Lehmann
Cricket Australia sacked coach MICKEY ARTHUR and replaced him with DARREN LEHMANN "just over two weeks before the start of the Ashes series against England," according to Mulvenney & Reich of REUTERS. CA CEO JAMES SUTHERLAND said, "We've made a tough decision and the timing of this decision will have no doubt surprised and even shocked a lot of people." Arthur said that "he took full responsibility for the situation." Arthur: "The reality is when you take a job on as head coach, you are totally responsible for the outcomes." Australia captain MICHAEL CLARKE, who has asked to step down from his role as a team selector, said that he was "initially shocked by events but was now fully focused on getting results." Clarke: "We know what the standards and expectations off the field are as well in regard to behavior and we have no excuses for not upholding those values" (REUTERS, 6/24).
TAKING ACTION: In Sydney, Chloe Saltau reported Sutherland said that the sport's 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: ''We've come to a conclusion that things weren't improving and we could let things stay as they are, stay as the status quo, or we could make change. We didn't want to get to a stage where we looked back on this Ashes series and felt that we could have done something about it" (SYDNEY MORNING HERALD, 6/25). In Brisbane, Ben Dorries reported Sutherland "has virtually escaped scrutiny for presiding over the rabble and embarrassing laughing stock that is Australia's inept cricket system." The former Victorian fast bowler's biggest blunder "has been taking a cringingly lightweight stance on misbehaving players" since being appointed CA CEO in '01 (COURIER-MAIL, 6/24).