‘I never had the freedom to do’ anything my way, says Mickey Arthur

"I wanted the freedom to run the team the way I knew I could"

“I wanted the freedom to run the team the way I knew I could”

Image courtesy of: ESPNcricinfo

Mickey Arthur has revealed that he “never had the freedom to do” anything his way during his tenure as Australia’s head coach.

Arthur also finds it unfair that his decisions were always closely monitored, while his successor Darren Lehmann is given free reign to do what he feels is right.

“I felt with Australia I never had the freedom to do it [my way], simply because I always felt suffocated,” Arthur says in Whitewash to Whitewash, a new book by ESPNcricinfo’s assistant editor Daniel Brettig. “I felt there were so many people touching the team – and I said this numerous times to Pat – I wanted the freedom to run the team the way I knew I could, and I never, ever felt I had that freedom.

“When I ran South Africa there was a selection panel, but I would pick teams and had a lot more freedom. At CA I felt every decision we were going to make I had to make five phone calls to five different people, whereas with South Africa I just made my decision, put it in my report and told the board at the next meeting.”

While Arthur admitted that he was deeply affected by being sacked just three weeks before the start of the 2013 Ashes series in England, he also pointed out that people have informed him that Cricket Australia performance chief Pat Howard is “hardly ever around now”.

“I’ve spoken to a lot of people and they say Pat’s hardly ever around now,” Arthur says. “When I was there, he was there every minute of every day. Everything I wanted is what Darren has, and Darren’s now running it the way I ran South Africa, and I’m really chuffed for him because that’s the way it should be.

“I missed that because everyone was trying to find role-definition and clambering over each other to find their sense of authority. The roles were all blurred and intermingled. The one thing the sacking did was that the roles then got clearly defined, because they realised that mistakes had been made. I was the fall guy for Darren to get total autonomy over the team, which is great, because that’s how it should be.”

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