Former Australian cricket coach, Mickey Arthur reflects on the perils of leadership and his sudden sacking by Cricket Australia in an honest and revealing interview for The Bottom Line, to be aired on Saturday 5 April at 4.00pm on Channel Nine.
The interview comes just weeks after Ricky Ponting told CPA Australia’s Chief Executive Alex Malley on The Bottom Line that he felt Arthur wasn’t the right choice to coach the Australian cricket team.
Appointed to coach the national team in 2011, Arthur reflects on the role he stepped into, team discipline, the difficult task at hand and his sacking on the eve of the 2013 Ashes series.
“The behavioural issues were present and they had been present for a period of time. Early on, I probably did give a little bit too much leeway but understand from my point of view I was trying to create this philosophy,” says Arthur.
Discipline in the Australian camp remained an issue throughout Arthur’s tenure as coach, and came to a head when he made the controversial decision to suspend four players over behavioural issues before the third Test against India, including Vice-Captain Shane Watson.
“I wanted the players to know what the values and what was expected of them when they came into the Australia cricket team,” he tells Malley.
“I really felt that the team needed to be grabbed by the scruff of the neck. I’ll never forget Cricket Australia telling me I was too soft and I’d been too soft with the team…I kind of didn’t know what they wanted.”
Reflecting on the communication in the lead up to his termination, Arthur tells Malley that he felt let down by Cricket Australia’s handling of the situation.
“I take total responsibility. The thing that I didn’t like, I felt the process was poor. I felt there was a lack of respect shown and that hurt me more than anything.
“Suddenly from where I’d been part of a lot of decisions and a lot of people bounced a lot of stuff off me, it sort of watered down a lot and I felt it, I did feel it.”
Arthur was radio commentating on the afternoon that Australia won the Ashes in 2013. Speaking with The Bottom Line, he reveals the emotions he felt both personally and professionally on the sideline.
“I was almost thinking, ‘I want Australia to lose here’ you know and the next day waking up thinking ‘geez, but I want Clarke and Watson to get runs’.
“I would have liked to have just carried on just running it the way I was because I could feel something really good bubbling and I had a good healthy respect for a lot of the players. There was one or two that obviously we clashed with but you know that’s going to happen in any team.”
Mickey Arthur shares his insights with Alex Malley on The Bottom Line – Saturday 5th April at 4pm on Channel Nine.
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Mickey Arthur on The Bottom Line is Episode 8 in a 24 episode series.
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