Friday, 28 June 2013

Cricket's Coaching Carousel Part 2

Thorpster is back and having questioned a few week's back whether cricket coaches now are under intense scrutiny, now looks at the recent sackings of Mickey Arthur of Australia and Chris Adams at Sussex. Is cricket becoming like football, as Michael Vaughan suggested on Twitter recently? Let us know what you think either below or @themiddlestump on Twitter.

Arthur...a victim of the tin tack

In a recent article during one of football's many silly seasons, involving more sacks than the Royal Mail, I asked whether cricket would ever follow suit. Well the events of the last week or so suggest that it will.

Ironically, two of the coaches, Mickey Arthur and Chris Adams, that I discussed in the article have recently finished their latest spin on the magic roundabout and the bloke with a string vest, dirty jeans and loads of earrings has helped them off the ride and back on to the sodden fairground, whilst fixing his sights on an approaching teenager, with a Sussex maths teacher like relish.

Shortly before Gus Poyet discovered he had been given the 'tinny' by Brighton and Hove Albion whilst commentating on the Confederations cup for the BBC, another man who once lead a side from Hove was receiving his marching orders from Surrey along with his sidekick and one of England's great leg spinning hopes, Ian Salisbury. His leg spin developed about as much as Liam Kenna's did.

Adams...gone from SE11

In cricket it is extremely unusual for a coach to be despatched mid season no matter how badly his side is faring; Surrey Chief Executive Richard Gould gave a very football like statement when he said:

Chris and Ian have worked really hard for the club and we appreciate their endeavours during the past five seasons,"
"The club has decided it is now time to make a change in order to progress further.”

Using another football term, Alec 'The Gaffer' Stewart is now like Paul 'The Guv'nor' Ince and  is actually a proper gaffer, having taken the reigns at Surrey. The ex-England skipper and favourite of this site, Michael Vaughan, picked up on the football like nature of the sacking by commenting and tweeting, "The first sign that cricket will become like football eventually. A county coach sacked mid season."

Now even more bizarrely timed, Mickey Arthur was sent packing just a fortnight before the start of back to back Ashes series to be replaced by a real fair dinkum, in Aussie Darren “Boof” Lehman. No not Jens or Tom Lehman! I realise the Aussies have been in a spot of disarray and that drastic times call for drastic action and all that but really, is now the right time? 

Hughes starts to 'blub' back in 1984

Arthur's almost tearful fronting up of the press conference almost reminded me of Kim Hughes and various departing skippers over the years, but the departing cricket coach purging his soul is not one we have seen very often before.

However given the worrying trend emerging he may not be the last. In coaching and management terms cricket has been a sport to make longer term plans and by enlarge stick to them, disposing of players and captains rather than the coaching staff. Like so many football managers, was Arthur a victim of player power and forced out due to being unpopular with his charges?

Who knows, but the events of the last few weeks only make me more confident that the managers office at cricket grounds will soon have more in and outs than the Australian dressing room on the first morning of the Ashes. 

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