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The Sport Matrix: Tuesday 25 June 2013

Compton ditched as Australia sack coach before Ashes

England and Australia both took ruthless decisions yesterday in their quest for the Ashes. The home side dropped opening bat Nick Compton, as the tourists sacked their coach, Mickey Arthur with 15 days to go before the series starts at Trent Bridge.

Australia announced that Arthur, coach for 18 months, was being replaced by former Test batsman Darren Lehmann, above, before, hours later, England jettisoned Compton and promoted Joe Root as Alastair Cook’s partner. Although the squad announced was for a warm-up match against Essex next week, there is no way back for Compton.

James Sutherland, Cricket Australia’s chief executive, who was instrumental in orchestrating Arthur’s fate, said: “The timing is far from ideal but we didn’t feel we could sit back and hope matters would change.

“It isn’t the type of change we want to make three weeks from the Ashes but change is needed. The coach is not solely responsible but we didn’t want to get to a stage in this series where we felt we could have done something about it.” further comment, MORE

Murray strolls through opener

There was no trouble for Andy Murray as the second seed coasted into the second round. The Scot eased past German Benjamin Becker in straight sets to secure a meeting with Lu Yen-Hsun, who beat James Ward.

Sharapova pushed for opening win

After an off-court spat with Serena Williams, Maria Sharapova was troubled on the turf as she battled into the second round. Kristina Mladenovic pushed the 2004 champion all the way before succumbing 7-6 6-3. MORE

Nadal dumped out by world No 135

French Open champion Rafael Nadal was the biggest casualty on the opening day of the Championships, losing in straight sets to world No 135 Steve Darcis, of Belgium in the first round yesterday. MORE

O’Connell out as Australia prosper

Australia enjoyed the better fortunes yesterday ahead of Saturday’s second Test against the British and Irish Lions. Paul O’Connell was ruled out with an arm injury for the tourists, while home captain James Horwill was cleared of stamping. MORE

Late tries give Warrington points

Warrington battled to a 22-12 win over leaders Wigan to move to within a point of second-placed Huddersfield. The Warriors battled back from a 10-0 half-time deficit but late tries from Mick Higham and Chris Hill secured the win for the hosts. MORE

Liverpool pave way for expansion

Liverpool last night apologised to residents of Anfield for being responsible for neighbouring streets failling into a state of decay. The club hope to purchase remaining surrounding properties to press ahead with ground expansion plans. MORE

Godolphin seeking an Irish rush job

Dawn Approach will run in Godolphin colours for the first time in the Dubai Duty Free Irish Derby at the Curragh on Saturday, where he will be joined by Cap O’Rushes, moved up from handicap company at Royal Ascot last week. MORE

Cavendish seeking to lead from front

Mark Cavendish will be going all out to wear the yellow jersey after the first stage of the Tour de France on Saturday. “There is a strong group of sprinters,” the Briton said. “It’s going to be all guns blazing.” MORE

Stephen Brenkley

It is difficult to understand what Australia are up to. This is largely because they do not have a clue either. In a sensational act of desperation they have sacked their coach Mickey Arthur. MORE

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