Sydney: Sacked Australian coach Mickey Arthur admitted he “lost” Shane Watson, while criticising the team’s young players for having “big egos” while earning “obscene amounts of money”.
The South African has refrained from commenting since being dumped just weeks before Australia’s Ashes campaign against England. But in an interview with an Australian newspaper, he detailed a fractured relationship with his vice-captain.
“My relationships were outstanding, except with Watson. He was one of the guys I lost,” Arthur said. “India was where it started going wrong, when we suspended those players. If I sit back and think, ‘would I have done it again?’ Well, I probably would. Because I believed so much in what we were trying to do.”
In a forgettable tour of India earlier this year where Australia lost all their four Test matches, Watson, James Pattinson, Mitchell Johnson and Usman Khawaja were all disciplined by Arthur after failing to submit feedback requested by the team management.
They were axed from the squad, with Watson controversially sent home. “I met with all our staff before I did it and our staff were adamant that it was the right way to go,” said Arthur. I ended up making those decisions and then ended up bearing the brunt of them.”
Arthur ultimately paid the price for a poor Champions Trophy campaign in England after the horrendous series against India. Lack of discipline in the team, which came out in the open when David Warner punched England’s Joe Root in a Birmingham bar in June, was another major deterrent in the progress of the side.
Arthur was fired with two years still on his contract and replaced by Darren Lehmann.
Arthur sued Cricket Australia for his job back or up to Australian $4 million (US$3.7 million) in compensation. But he settled after “significantly reducing” his claim.
An annoyed Arthur further added: “I put my head on the line with a lot of big decisions and a lot of the people who were very keen for us to make those decisions then backtracked.” (AFP)