The Light Roller: Australia's treatment of Mickey Arthur is bizarre or arrogant

Are the Aussies
taking the Mickey?

A week can be a long time in cricket, though evidently not long enough for Mickey Arther to argue his case for continuing as Australia's coach.

While the Champions Trophy was a dismal tournament for the Aussies, it is arguable whether it was much of a marker for the upcoming Ashes. With Michael Clarke having been out through injury and others in the one day squad not staying on, there was about to be a change of playing personnel in any case. So to ditch Arthur at this stage suggests that results were not the only problem. Then again, the shenanigans of homework-gate during the recent series in India were evidence already of serious differences of approach in the camp.

There has been a fundamental suspicion about coaches in the Australian game - typified by Shane Warne's well-known remark about them being useful only for travelling to games in. But when world-beating players were ten a cent that attitude was easier to justify. Frankly, they could have had Kylie Minogue in charge and taken the field doing the locomotion, but England and the rest would still have taken regular poundings.

In 2013 Australia are not a great side. There are some decent players but very few world-beaters. In that context, if his crime was attempting to unpick the current status quo then Micky Arthur might have cause to feel a tad aggrieved. The plus point for Darren Lehman, his successor, is that things can  hardly get any worse for the team.

No room for English malaise

Despite Australian woes, it is still not entirely clear that the Ashes will be completely one-sided. England, after all, still seem to have issues of their own to resolve. Dispensing with Nick Compton for the warm-up against Essex may be better than making a change at the top of the order mid-Ashes, but if Kevin Pietersen's injury makes a re-appearance there will be have to be some shuffling in any case.

And with Graeme Swann's fitness obviously still a source of anxiety too, there may also be a need to consider a replacement in the spin department at some stage. Monty Panesar remains the obvious choice for tests, with James Tredwell perhaps too much of a one-day specialist in the eyes of the selectors. But Simon Kerrigan at Lancashire will push hard to get his name in the frame.

Potential injuries aside, Alistair Cook's captaincy remains relatively untested, especially in England. And there is arguably too much reliance on Jimmy Anderson when it comes to new ball wickets.

Beating New Zealand in the summer's early tests was all very well but England will do well to be on their mettle against their next opponents. Cornered koalas might not be quite as dangerous as cornered tigers but they can still give a nasty scratch.

Vive le cricket Francais!

Having rolled down to the South of France for a week (and nearly rolled off the tarmac at a windy Perpignon airport), an absence of cricket is entirely to be expected.  It's more Vin Rouge than Vingt-Vingt, which is altogether not such a bad thing.

But being in France does rather beg the question: what has happened to French cricket? Not the state of the national side (currently in Europe's second division with Gibraltar and Israel) but the game involving a hoard of close fielders all aiming to strike the batsman's legs with the ball.

I spent countless hours as a child in the '80s tonking a tennis ball to the other side of the garden and debating the precise rules around a bowler passing the ball to another player who was better placed to deliver it to the batter. Yet I cannot recall having seen the game being played for donkey's years.

It is not obvious to conclude that this reflects a growing interest in real cricket. But given the gradual deconstruction of the game into its base elements via the IPL, it may be time for the French version to make a comeback. Half a dozen players, no pitch necessary and little need for protective equipment: add in Chris Gayle, a few cheerleaders and some cheese and wine and France will become the cricketing centre for the next decade.

people And here is why...
Arts and Entertainment
Amazon has added a cautionary warning to Tom and Jerry cartoons on its streaming service
voicesBy the man who has
Arsene Wenger tried to sign Eden Hazard
footballAfter 18 years with Arsenal, here are 18 things he has still never done as the Gunners' manager
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Life and Style
The new Windows 10 Start Menu
Arts and Entertainment
Kristen Stewart and Robert Pattinson star in The Twilight Saga but will not be starring in the new Facebook mini-movies
tvKristen Stewart and Stephenie Meyer will choose female directrs
Arts and Entertainment
Hilary North's 'How My Life Has Changed', 2001
books(and not a Buzzfeed article in sight)
More than 90 years of car history are coming to an end with the abolition of the paper car-tax disc
newsThis and other facts you never knew about the paper circle - completely obsolete today
Arts and Entertainment
There has been a boom in ticket sales for female comics, according to an industry survey
comedyFirst national survey reveals Britain’s comedic tastes
Arts and Entertainment
Twerking girls: Miley Cyrus's video for 'Wrecking Ball'
arts + ents
Arts and Entertainment
Ed Sheeran performs at his Amazon Front Row event on Tuesday 30 September
musicHe spotted PM at private gig
people'I’d rather have Fred and Rose West quote my characters on childcare'
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Daily Quiz
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services

Day In a Page

Ebola outbreak: The children orphaned by the virus – then rejected by surviving relatives over fear of infection

The children orphaned by Ebola...

... then rejected by surviving relatives over fear of infection
Pride: Are censors pandering to homophobia?

Are censors pandering to homophobia?

US film censors have ruled 'Pride' unfit for under-16s, though it contains no sex or violence
The magic of roundabouts

Lords of the rings

Just who are the Roundabout Appreciation Society?
Why do we like making lists?

Notes to self: Why do we like making lists?

Well it was good enough for Ancient Egyptians and Picasso...
Hong Kong protests: A good time to open a new restaurant?

A good time to open a new restaurant in Hong Kong?

As pro-democracy demonstrators hold firm, chef Rowley Leigh, who's in the city to open a new restaurant, says you couldn't hope to meet a nicer bunch
Paris Fashion Week: Karl Lagerfeld leads a feminist riot on 'Boulevard Chanel'

Paris Fashion Week

Lagerfeld leads a feminist riot on 'Boulevard Chanel'
Bruce Chatwin's Wales: One of the finest one-day walks in Britain

Simon Calder discovers Bruce Chatwin's Wales

One of the finest one-day walks you could hope for - in Britain
10 best children's nightwear

10 best children's nightwear

Make sure the kids stay cosy on cooler autumn nights in this selection of pjs, onesies and nighties
Manchester City vs Roma: Five things we learnt from City’s draw at the Etihad

Manchester City vs Roma

Five things we learnt from City’s Champions League draw at the Etihad
Martin Hardy: Mike Ashley must act now and end the Alan Pardew reign

Trouble on the Tyne

Ashley must act now and end Pardew's reign at Newcastle, says Martin Hardy
Isis is an hour from Baghdad, the Iraq army has little chance against it, and air strikes won't help

Isis an hour away from Baghdad -

and with no sign of Iraq army being able to make a successful counter-attack
Turner Prize 2014 is frustratingly timid

Turner Prize 2014 is frustratingly timid

The exhibition nods to rich and potentially brilliant ideas, but steps back
Last chance to see: Half the world’s animals have disappeared over the last 40 years

Last chance to see...

The Earth’s animal wildlife population has halved in 40 years
So here's why teenagers are always grumpy - and it's not what you think

Truth behind teens' grumpiness

Early school hours mess with their biological clocks
Why can no one stop hackers putting celebrities' private photos online?

Hacked photos: the third wave

Why can no one stop hackers putting celebrities' private photos online?