Australia in crisis ahead of the Ashes: Timeline of events - Cricket - Sport - The Independent

Australia in crisis ahead of the Ashes: Timeline of events

Today head coach Mickey Arthur was replaced

Cricket Australia has confirmed the sacking of coach Mickey Arthur just over two weeks before the start of the Ashes.

It is the latest in a string of troubles for the Baggy Green. Here, Press Association Sport reviews their turbulent year.

August 21, 2012: Australia slip to fourth in the one-day international rankings with a 4-0 series defeat to England. With the team also third in the Test rankings and ninth in Twenty20, captain Michael Clarke describes the situation as "unacceptable for an Australian team".

November 29: Former captain Ricky Ponting announces he will retire from international cricket after the third Test against South Africa the following week.

January 6, 2013: Australia's batting is weakened still further as Michael Hussey brings his Test career to a close against Sri Lanka.

January 30: Unprompted by Cricket Australia, leg-spin great Shane Warne publishes a two-part review proposing changes to the national team system under the heading "Where is Australian cricket at?", noting "the current set-up is not working".

March 11: Shane Watson, James Pattinson, Usman Khawaja and Mitchell Johnson are stood down for the third Test against India as punishment for failing to complete a 'homework' assignment on how the side could improve. Arthur describes the incident as a "line in the sand" but Queensland coach Darren Lehmann criticises the decision, tweeting: "Adults we are, not schoolboys!". Watson returns home to be with his pregnant wife.

March 24: Despite Watson returning to captain the side, India wrap up a 4-0 whitewash in the Test series and win the Border-Gavaskar Trophy.

May 22: Opening batsman David Warner pleads guilty to breaching the Cricket Australia code of behaviour after an argument on Twitter with journalists Robert Craddock and Malcolm Conn. Warner, who told Conn "all you do is talk s***" and called Craddock a "p****", is hit with the maximum fine available of 5,750 Australian dollars (£3,700).

June 4: Australia are bowled out for 65 as they suffer a crushing 243-run defeat by India in their final Champions Trophy warm-up game in Cardiff.

June 5: Captain Michael Clarke leaves the team's training camp to undergo treatment on a long-standing back problem in London, with physiotherapist Alex Kountouris admitting he is "in a race against time" to be fit to face England in Australia's opening Champions Trophy fixture at Edgbaston. Clarke ultimately misses not only that game, but the whole competition.

June 8: England beat Australia by 48 runs in Birmingham.

June 12: Cricket Australia confirms Warner has been stood down from the Champions Trophy match against New Zealand after throwing a punch at England's Joe Root in the early hours of June 9 in Birmingham's Walkabout bar following the match between the teams. At a hearing the next day, Warner is suspended until the first Test of the Ashes and fined 11,500 Australian dollars (£7,000).

June 17: Defeat to Sri Lanka knocks Australia out of the Champions Trophy.

June 23: Reports surface that Arthur has been sacked as Australia coach. Earlier Pakistan-born spinner Fawad Ahmed, whose path to the national team appeared to have been eased by a new citizenship bill, returns to Australia to "go through the processes required of him to become an Australian citizen", making him doubtful for the start of the Ashes.

June 24: Cricket Australia confirms Arthur's departure, with former Test batsman Lehmann taking his place as head coach.

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