Cricket – Ashes: Australia sack coach Arthur

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Mickey Arthur has been relieved as coach of Australian cricket team just weeks before the start of Ashes series, with Darren Lehmann expected to take his place.

Cricket Australia are yet to officially announce the departure of the South African but chief executive James Sutherland and general manager of team performance Pat Howard have scheduled a news conference.

The Australian camp has been dealing with a number of different problems for the past couple of weeks as the squad works to try and find some form heading into the series.

During Arthur’s time in charge he helped the side to win 10 of 19 Tests but found it hard to keep tabs on his players off the field. He was forced to send four players home halfway through the tour of India because they failed to complete ‘off-field’ feedback tasks.

The Baggy Greens also failed to impose themselves in the ICC Champions Trophy, dropping out bottom of their group without picking up a single point.

Lehmann is regarded as one of the top coaches in Australian cricket and is already in England after working as a mentor with Australia A.

Former Australia fast bowler Geoff Lawson believes that although it was a difficult decision to make, he is sure that Cricket Australia have done the right thing.

Lawson said: “Perhaps we have made a decision that’s going to head Australian cricket in the right direction.

“It’s certainly an unusual thing for a cricket coach to be sacked so close to a major series. However, if it were a football coach, this would be minor news.”

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