South Africa coach Arthur to resign

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The Independent Online

Mickey Arthur's tenure as South Africa coach looks certain to come to an end tomorrow, amid widespread reports that he has tendered his resignation.

Arthur himself has suggested it is time for somebody else to lead the Proteas but there has been no formal confirmation from Cricket South Africa, other than to convene a press conference at 7am GMT tomorrow morning with Arthur and chief executive Gerald Majola.

Speculation that Arthur's relationship with captain Graeme Smith has suffered in recent months could be to blame for the expected parting of the ways.

Proteas team manager Mohammed Moosajee confirmed he has been in contact with 41-year-old Arthur, who was linked with the England job in the aftermath of Peter Moores' exit, but would not confirm his departure.

He did, though, promise that there would be an end to the conjecture over Arthur's position.

Moosajee told Press Association Sport: "There is a press conference tomorrow, Mickey will be there, Gerald will be there for Cricket South Africa and we will watch what unfolds.

"I don't know the mechanics and the reasons behind exactly what is going on, but I have been told to come along and I will be there.

"I've spoken to him today. He's had millions of calls but he seems to be in very good spirits."

Asked if Arthur had confirmed his resignation to him, Moosajee added: "No, not at all. There is so much speculation around to deal with. Part of the reason they have called this special conference is to deal with that speculation, so we will see."

Should his tenure be formally brought to an end at the conference in East London tomorrow, former South Africa skipper Kepler Wessels believes the side will miss Arthur's input.

Wessels told "There has been some speculation in the last couple of weeks, so it is not a total surprise.

"I still think it is sad, (Arthur) did a good job for South Africa."

With a tour to India due to begin at the end of the week, South Africa's high performance centre director Corrie van Zyl could be asked to take temporary charge of team affairs.

Van Zyl, who played two one-day internationals against the West Indies in 1992, is thought to be a well-liked figure among the current South Africa squad, having worked with several of the team in his development role.

But interest in leading a side who were ranked as number one in the Test rankings as recently as last summer is sure to be high, with Ashes-winning England coach Duncan Fletcher and India's Gary Kirsten both sure to be in the frame.

Kirsten made 101 Test appearances for South Africa and has earned rave reviews for his work with India since his appointment in March 2008.