Former player given the tough task of turning around side’s flagging Ashes prospects.
Australian cricket CEO James Sutherland beleived Darren Lehmann will bring about positive change in the side ahead of the Ashes series.
Speaking to a media conference in Bristol earlier today, Sutherland said the decision to sack incumbent coach Mickey Arthur and replacement him with Lehman has to be made sooner rather than later.
“The performances of the Australian team over the recent months have not been the standard that we desire,” Sutherland said.
“We recognised issues or concerns…in months gone buy and in recent times we haven’t seen the improvement that we would like.”
When asked if the timing of the announcement could have a de-stabalising affect on the side ahead of the Ashes, Sutherland believed a lack of change would have been more harmful.
“Why now? Why three weeks out from an Ashes series? We’ve decided that things weren’t improving and we could not let things stay as they are, stay with the status quo or we could make change,” he said.
“We didn’t want to look back on the Ashes and think we could have done something about it.
“We all have a high regard for Mickey and that friendship will continue
“Darren Lehmann is the obvious choice to come in and replace Mickey, he;s Highly regarded within the Australian cricket team.
“We’ve recognised that recently by giving him development opportunities as the Australia A coach over the past couple of weeks.
“(It allows) Michael (Clarke) to focus on working closely with Darren and allows him the best possible preparation for him and his team.
“People will be surprised and perhaps shocked with the decision we’ve made but we’re not looking backwards, we’re looking forwards.”
The Aussie cricket boss was also questioned if the need to make such drastic action close to the Ashes was personally embarrassing.
“I don’t think it’s about me, it is about Australian cricket fans,” Sutherland said.
“(Fans) want performances they can be proud of and performances that lead to successful performances on the field.
“A key ingredient for a successful high performing team is a culture if discipline and accountability for performance .
“Darren is the sort of leader and coach who brings people around him and keeps his messages simple.
“he will be a force for change inside the environment and, the onus and responsibility is on the players and support staff.”
Lehmann Rod Marsh will be the selectors for the Ashes, with John Inverarity to have a vote if needed, with the first Test starting on July 10 at Trent Bridge.