[UPDATE: News Ltd reports Darren Lehmann will replace Arthur as coach.]
Australia’s 2013 Ashes campaign, already looking shaky with problems on and off the field, is in chaos with reports that coach Mickey Arthur being sacked just weeks from the start of the series.
The team has been beset by mounting discipline issues, which sensationally came to a head in March when four players, including vice-captain Shane Watson, were dismissed from the side for failing to complete “homework” – feedback on performance – set by the coach.
In recent weeks batsman Dave Warner has been involved in two controversies – getting into a fight on Twitter with some leading cricket writers and then being involved in a bar incident in Birmingham.
Reports say Arthur was informed of the decision over the weekend and a statement is expected later today from Cricket Australia.
England are already heavy favourites for the series. Some needling in the press is common in the run-up but England captain Andrew Strauss was merely pointing out the obviousin an interview with The Sunday Times over the weekend when he talked about the apparent disunity in the Australian camp.
“They’ve had to deal with a lot of off-field issues. The noises you hear suggest a lot of people aren’t happy. Maybe it’s because they’re losing or there are character clashes In my experience if you’re not happy you’ll be less than the sum of your parts. Australia can’t afford that.”
It’s unknown who will replace Arthur but the main name being mentioned is Darren “Boof” Lehmann.
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