Proteas coach resigns

2010-01-26 00:00

JOHANNESBURG — South African cricket was rocked yesterday with the resignation of Mickey Arthur as Proteas coach.

The shock move comes just over a year after the Proteas’ historic Test-series victory in Australia and scarcely four days before the team’s departure for India.

It is believed that Arthur’s relationship with South African captain Graeme Smith had “deteriorated irreparably”.

The country’s cricket bosses are not commenting, but it has been learned that former fast bowler Corrie van Zyl has been appointed caretaker coach and will depart with the team for India on Saturday for a series of two Tests and three one-day internationals.

Van Zyl (48) has previously worked as the Proteas’ assistant coach and was last year appointed as coach of Cricket South Africa’s (CSA) high-performance centre in Pretoria.

It is believed that Arthur’s right-hand man at the Proteas, Vincent Barnes, has also been sacked. The national selection panel, which is under the leadership of Mike Procter, may also soon get the chop.

Arthur (41) and the management of CSA held an emergency meeting in Johannesburg last Tuesday to discuss the team’s struggles in the Test series against England.

The series ended in a 1-1 draw after South Africa won the last test by an innings and 74 runs.

The tension between Arthur and Smith came to an end on the eve of the game when the captain publicly questioned his coach’s decision to “gamble” with team selection.

The Proteas won their first series in England in over 40 years and notched a first-series victory in Australia under Arthur. He succeeded Ray Jennings as coach in 2005.

However, they lost the home series against the Aussies shortly thereafter and could also not achieve much in the Twenty20 World Championship and Champions Trophy series.

Apart from Van Zyl, the names of former national captain Kepler Wessels and Jeremy Snape have also been mentioned as possible successors for Arthur.

It is believed that Arthur met with CSA chief executive Gerald Majola about his severance package yesterday after last year being offered around R800 000 to coach England.

However, Arthur declined the offer as his current contract with CSA only expires after the 2011 World Cup in India, Sri Lanka and Bangladesh.

Arthur, Majola and Barnes did not want to comment, while Van Zyl did not respond to queries.

It is expected that a press conference will be held in East London today or tomorrow with South African captain Graeme Smith had “deteriorated irreparably”.

The country’s cricket bosses are not commenting, but it has been learned that former fast bowler Corrie van Zyl has been appointed caretaker coach and will depart with the team for India on Saturday for a series of two Tests and three one-day internationals.

Van Zyl (48) has previously worked as the Proteas’ assistant coach and was last year appointed as coach of Cricket South Africa’s (CSA) high-performance centre in Pretoria.

It is believed that Arthur’s right-hand man at the Proteas, Vincent Barnes, has also been sacked. The national selection panel, which is under the leadership of Mike Procter, may also soon get the chop.

Arthur (41) and the management of CSA held an emergency meeting in Johannesburg last Tuesday to discuss the team’s struggles in the Test series against England.

The series ended in a 1-1 draw after South Africa won the last Test by an innings and 74 runs.

The tension between Arthur and Smith came to an end on the eve of the game when the captain publicly questioned his coach’s decision to “gamble” with team selection.

The Proteas won their first series in England in over 40 years and notched a first-series victory in Australia under Arthur. He succeeded Ray Jennings as coach in 2005.

However, they lost the home series against the Aussies shortly thereafter and could also not achieve much in the Twenty20 World Championship and Champions Trophy series.

Apart from Van Zyl, the names of former national captain Kepler Wessels and Jeremy Snape have also been mentioned as possible successors for Arthur.

It is believed that Arthur met with CSA chief executive Gerald Majola about his severance package yesterday after last year being offered around R800 000 to coach England.

However, Arthur declined the offer as his current contract with CSA only expires after the 2011 World Cup in India, Sri Lanka and Bangladesh.

Arthur, Majola and Barnes did not want to comment, while Van Zyl did not respond to queries.

It is expected that a press conference will be held in East London today or tomorrow.

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