Pat Howard defends Cricket Australia's decision to sack Mickey Arthur

Pat Howard defended the struggling Australian team on tour of England © Getty Images

Sydney: Jul 24, 2013

Pat Howard, general manager Australia team performance, said on Tuesday that Cricket Australia (CA) did not make any mistake by sacking Mickey Arthur, who was the first foreign coach for the national side.

Howard said that the change was needed for the improvement of the national team’s performance and also defended the appointment of Darren Lehmann in place of Arthur.

Howard was quoted as saying by Fox Sports, “We’re around the team. They understand that the Nottingham performance was good and that the Lord’s performance wasn’t.

“But in terms of ‘Are they galvanised? Is the right person in charge?’ I don’t think anyone thinks the wrong person is in charge. We’ve seen him perform under pressure, we’ve seen what the coach has done with other teams as well and the collective and coaches don’t get to make instant impacts but I can tell you when the players talk to the coach, they’re inspired and they see the opportunity to grow,” Howard added.

“When you sit there and look and have conversations and there were plenty of articles written about what was right and what was wrong, you knew there was something that needed to be dealt with and it was dealt with,” he said.

“You make decisions not just for one week or two weeks but you make them for a period and who’s going to best galvanise the side. I don’t want to go into that particularly, but who was going to get the best out of this group, that was a simple decision,” he stated.

Howard declined commenting on the legal tussle between CA and Arthur, but said ‘it’s never nice when you get moved on’.

“They’ve [Australian players] moved on, gone on and feel galvanised with this group. Even though there are two Tests we lost,” he said.

The GM said Australia have many areas of concern and it will take time for things to improve.

“When Australia and Australia A over the same weekend play and the highest scores were Glenn Maxwell and Moises Henriques getting 60s and 70s, our ability to bat a long time needs to improve,” Howard said.

“We need to work with the states to enforce that message around batting for a long time and batting with patience. Making sure Sheffield Shield cricket goes into the fourth day so we start getting footmarks, we start getting spinners bowling more in the Shield so they get used to that as well. There’s a big process there to get right, and it’s going to take time,” he concluded.

Australia are 0-2 behind England in the Ashes 2013.