<div class="img-caption-wrap "> <img alt="Darren Lehmann appointed as Australia's head coach after Mickey Arthur's sacking" src="https://st2.cricketcountry.com/wp-content/uploads/cricket/image_20130624224244.jpg" title="Darren Lehmann appointed as Australia's head coach after Mickey Arthur's sacking" /> <p class="imgcaptionnew" style="width:618px;"> Darren Lehmann has been contracted as the head coach of the Australian team till June 2015 © Getty Images</p> </div> <strong>Bristol: Jun 24, 2013</strong><br /> <br /> <a href="/tags/Darren-Lehmann/post" target="_blank">Darren Lehmann</a> was on Monday hailed as the "obvious choice" after replacing the sacked <a href="/tags/Mickey-Arthur/post" target="_blank">Mickey Arthur</a> as Australia head coach just 16 days before the first Ashes Test in <a href="/tags/England/post" target="_blank">England</a> following several embarrassing on and off-field incidents involving the team.<br /> <br /> "The timing is far from ideal but we didn't feel we could sit back and hope matters would change without addressing issues critical to a high-performing team culture," <a href="/tags/Cricket-Australia/post" target="_blank">Cricket Australia</a> chief executive James Sutherland told a news conference in Bristol, southwest England.<br /> <br /> "It obviously isn't the type of change we want to make three weeks out from the Ashes commencing but we believe a change is needed.<br /> <br /> "Mickey Arthur is a good man, he's tried his utmost to do a good job and unfortunately, at the end of day he just hasn't quite done that.<br /> <br /> "We decided things weren't improving — we could let things be as they are."<br /> <br /> Sutherland praised former Australia batsman Lehmann, who played 27 Tests, as the "obvious choice to replace Mickey".<br /> <br /> "As a cricketer and a coach he has an outstanding record, he's very highly regarded in cricket and within the Australian team," said Sutherland of Lehmann, who was appointed on a two-year deal.<br /> <br /> "His performances recently as coach of Queensland and the Brisbane Heat have seen him win titles in all three formats of the game.<br /> <br /> "We've recognised that by giving him development opportunities as a coach, most recently as assistant coach to the Australia A team here in England."<br /> <br /> Sutherland also confirmed that Australia captain <a href="/tags/Michael-Clarke/post" target="_blank">Michael Clarke</a>, currently sidelined with a back injury, would stand down as a selector.<br /> <br /> Clarke, flanked by Lehmann in the third of three back-to-back news conferences, said: "We have a less experienced team after losing Michael Hussey and Ricky Ponting [to retirement] but that's not an excuse.<br /> <br /> "We know the behaviour required to be an Australia cricketer. We know what performances are expected of us and we need to improve in both areas.<br /> <br /> "I'm certainly accountable both on-field and off-field as captain."<br /> <br /> Clarke, explaining why he'd stood down as selector, said: "Being a selector is a full-time job and I'd much prefer to be concentrating on the boys."<br /> <br /> He added he'd been stunned by Arthur's sacking. "Like everybody [I was] shocked at the time and then it was about trying to keep my focus on having success on this Ashes tour," Clarke said.<br /> <br /> "That's the most important thing, that we make sure we are performing a lot better than we have so far on this tour and a lot better than on our most recent tour to India."<br /> <br /> The 43-year-old Lehmann has a reputation as an old-school coach, keen to encourage his players to socialise together.<br /> <br /> "It's important to talk about the game whether it's with a beer or a Diet Coke," Lehmann said Monday.<br /> <br /> England hold the Ashes and Lehmann, asked what his three priorities were, replied: "Probably win, win, win', for a start.<br /> <br /> "It's going to be an exciting journey for all the players and support staff and we'll meet that head-on."