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.

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
  • Get to the point
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

NHS struggling to monitor the safety and efficacy of its services outsourced to private providers

Who's monitoring the outsourced NHS services?

A report finds that private firms are not being properly assessed for their quality of care
Zac Goldsmith: 'I'll trigger a by-election over Heathrow'

Zac Goldsmith: 'I'll trigger a by-election over Heathrow'

The Tory MP said he did not want to stand again unless his party's manifesto ruled out a third runway. But he's doing so. Watch this space
How do Greek voters feel about Syriza's backtracking on its anti-austerity pledge?

How do Greeks feel about Syriza?

Five voters from different backgrounds tell us what they expect from Syriza's charismatic leader Alexis Tsipras
From Iraq to Libya and Syria: The wars that come back to haunt us

The wars that come back to haunt us

David Cameron should not escape blame for his role in conflicts that are still raging, argues Patrick Cockburn
Sam Baker and Lauren Laverne: Too busy to surf? Head to The Pool

Too busy to surf? Head to The Pool

A new website is trying to declutter the internet to help busy women. Holly Williams meets the founders
Heston Blumenthal to cook up a spice odyssey for British astronaut manning the International Space Station

UK's Major Tum to blast off on a spice odyssey

Nothing but the best for British astronaut as chef Heston Blumenthal cooks up his rations
John Harrison's 'longitude' clock sets new record - 300 years on

‘Longitude’ clock sets new record - 300 years on

Greenwich horologists celebrate as it keeps to within a second of real time over a 100-day test
Fears in the US of being outgunned in the vital propaganda wars by Russia, China - and even Isis - have prompted a rethink on overseas broadcasters

Let the propaganda wars begin - again

'Accurate, objective, comprehensive': that was Voice of America's creed, but now its masters want it to promote US policy, reports Rupert Cornwell
Why Japan's incredible long-distance runners will never win the London Marathon

Japan's incredible long-distance runners

Every year, Japanese long-distance runners post some of the world's fastest times – yet, come next weekend, not a single elite competitor from the country will be at the London Marathon
Why does Tom Drury remain the greatest writer you've never heard of?

Tom Drury: The quiet American

His debut was considered one of the finest novels of the past 50 years, and he is every bit the equal of his contemporaries, Jonathan Franzen, Dave Eggers and David Foster Wallace
You should judge a person by how they peel a potato

You should judge a person by how they peel a potato

Dave Hax's domestic tips are reminiscent of George Orwell's tea routine. The world might need revolution, but we like to sweat the small stuff, says DJ Taylor
Bill Granger recipes: Our chef's dishes highlight the delicate essence of fresh cheeses

Bill Granger cooks with fresh cheeses

More delicate on the palate, milder, fresh cheeses can also be kinder to the waistline
Aston Villa vs Liverpool: 'This FA Cup run has been wonderful,' says veteran Shay Given

Shay Given: 'This FA Cup run has been wonderful'

The Villa keeper has been overlooked for a long time and has unhappy memories of the national stadium – but he is savouring his chance to play at Wembley
Timeless drama of Championship race in league of its own - Michael Calvin

Michael Calvin's Last Word

Timeless drama of Championship race in league of its own