Former Test star to take over on the eve of first Ashes Test against England.
Cricket Australian CEO James Sutherland has confirmed Darren Lehmann is the new national cricket coach after the sacking of Mickey Arthur.
In the wake of several off-field incidents, highlighted by David Warner fighting with England batman Joe Root in a Birmingham pub, Arthur was stood down just 16 days before the first Ashes Test at Trent Bridge.
Arthur was appointed in November 2011 and since that time Australia has struggled with inconsistent performances and numerous off-field issues.
Australia has won 10 of 19 Tests, 18 of 39 ODIs and 7 of 16 T20s with Arthur at the helm.
Sutherland admitted the timing of the announcement was not the best but hoped Lehmann would be able to bring the side together in a bid to gain the Ashes back.
“This has been a difficult decision to make but one that we feel is necessary. We are looking to establish a high performing Australian cricket team that is consistent over a period of time. To achieve that, we need all the parts moving in the right direction. Recent on-field results have been too inconsistent,” Sutherland said.
“Discipline, consistency of behaviour and accountability for performance are all key ingredients that need to improve. And we see that the head coach is ultimately responsible for that.
“The Cricket Australia Board decided yesterday that Mickey Arthur should not continue as head coach of the Australian cricket team. In taking this decision, the Board accepted the recommendation to make an immediate change as being in the best interests of the team,” said Sutherland.
Arthur said while he was disappointed not to be leading the Australian side into the Ashes series, he understood a decision had to be made in the interests of the long-term health of the national side.
“Naturally I’m very disappointed with how this has all ended. I certainly wanted to see the job through but I accept that the team hasn’t been completely galvanised under my leadership and our performances have been inconsistent,” he said.
“I’m certainly a believer in good culture and traditions much like all Australians and feel we were starting to get a shift in the right direction. We certainly need the team to be absolutely unified if we’re any chance of beating the English.”
Sutherland said Lehmann had shown in his short but very successful coaching career to be the right man for the job in getting Australia back to the top of world cricket.
“The Board considered him the outstanding candidate to drive the cultural change required in the team and to take it to the number one ranking in all formats of the game,” he said.
“No-one is underestimating the task at hand but we believe he is the right man for the job. It is up to the players to respond under his leadership and demonstrate their commitment to a successful Australian team.”
As a part of the shake-up of the team, captain Michael Clarke stood down as a selector of the side.