The news that Cricket Australia have today sacked Mickey Arthur came as a bit of a surprise to Yates. But not all that much of a surprise. Mickey Arthur’s recent performances – Homeworkgate, Warnergate and his interview proclaiming the Australian attack as the best in the world – have not been confidence inspiring.
Yates wrote that by taking the stance he did on Homeworkgate, Mickey Arthur and Michael Clarke had backed themselves into a corner. David Warner’s unprovoked attack on Joe Root and Arthur’s response to it clearly infuriated Cricket Australia CEO James Sutherland resulting in today’s decision.
There are rumours that Shane Watson demanded that Mickey Arthur take action over David Warner’s Walkabout fracas. When a national coach is the subject of deserved derision, a deep investigation needs to be held and action taken.
Cricket Australia have done that and did not involve Michael Clarke in that decision making process.
In Yates’ view the appointment of Darren Lehmann is a good one. Boof is a players’ player, don’t expect any Powerpoint based homework sessions from him. The coming series now may not be as easy as some thought. There’s a whole lot of experience and nous in Boof. And Yates bets he’s still got the talent with the bat too if Clarke’s back breaks down completely.
Michael Clarke has stood down from his role as a selector. This may be a gesture in support of Mickey Arthur but this is also a good thing. Clarke’s issues with Simon Katich and Shane Watson must not be allowed to recur. Mike Hussey’s seemingly premature retirement may also have been a reflection on Clarke’s leadership and attitude.
In today’s press conference James Sutherland looked and sounded committed and efficient, although Yates is still unsure exactly what Pat Howard is doing there. Questions about whether Sutherland and Howard had considered their future were met with a “No” but both must realise that if Boof’s appointment doesn’t work out on or off the field then their positions must be considered.
Whatever you may think of Mickey Arthur, it was extremely ballsy of him to front up to the press this morning. Arthur could have let rip at the various failures by players and administrators but did not. He played things with a dignifed straight bat.
There may be issues within Aussie cricket at younger age levels that need addressing – David Warner isn’t the only Aussie late night imbiber around – and it is for Sutherland and Howard to drive that message home.
An Aussie side with Boof as coach looks stronger than one with Arthur as coach, but the issues still persist.