Axed Australian coach suing Cricket Australia

14:00, Jul 16 2013
Mickey Arthur
DISMISSED: Australia fired coach Mickey Arthur just ahead of the Ashes series.

Michael Clarke described teammate Shane Watson as a "cancer" on the Australian cricket team, according to documents lodged by Mickey Arthur as part of a $4 million claim against Cricket Australia.

In explosive revelations which are likely to send shockwaves through the Australian camp on the eve of the second test at Lord's, Arthur has reportedly detailed some of the dressing room acrimony which has marred the national team's on-field performances this year.

In a statement of claim lodged in a Melbourne court, Arthur claims he was the "meat in the sandwich" in the divisive feud between Clarke and Watson, who was vice-captain until he stepped down in April.

Channel Seven reported that Arthur was seeking $4 million from Cricket Australia after being sensationally dumped as coach 16 days before the start of the Ashes and replaced immediately by Darren Lehmann.

His legal action against CA includes claims he was discriminated against because he was South African and he was not supported by the governing body after he and Clarke imposed unprecedented sanctions against four players over the notorious homework scandal on the tour of India in March.

In another revelation, Arthur is also claiming Watson tipped him off over David Warner's bar-room punch on England's Joe Root which resulted in the Australian batsman being suspended in the team's lead-up games to the Ashes.

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Arthur's manager Rossco Barrat would not comment on the pending legal action but told Fairfax Media on Tuesday that he was already in talks about landing the South African's next job. "We believe that Mickey has got a lot to offer world cricket and I'm exploring opportunites for him," he said.

Cricket Australia's general manager legal and business affairs Dean Kino said: "We're disappointed that it's come to this position. CA is quite clear on its position on this matter and I'm sure it will get resolved in the appropriate fashion."

The Australian team has been beset by disharmony within some quarters in the lead-up to the tour of England.

Arthur, however, lost his job, made the fall guy for Australia's sliding performances on and off the field.

Warner said on Monday he felt partly responsible for his role in Arthur's axing because of his conduct at a Birmingham nightclub during the Champions Trophy.

Sydney Morning Herald