The Australian National Cricket Team has a long history of pride in their country. So much in fact, that every coach to work for the organization has been a native of Australia. This is not uncommon in the world of cricket. National teams have almost always been coached by men from their home country. Until recently, when England and India, both strong cricket countries, decided to break the mold and outsource their coaching duties. Team Australia has made the move to follow suit.
South African cricket icon Mickey Arthur was given the Australian National team coaching position earlier this week. The most probable reason for a move to a non-national coach is as an attempt by Cricket Australia to start with a clean slate and bring someone in who can provide a fresh perspective on the way they approach the game.
There were numerous Australian candidates for the job. Steve Rixon, Justin Langer and Tom Moody are all coaches that have qualified credentials and even coaching experience in Australia. But, one of the greatest benefits of Arthur will be his disconnect from the old regime of Australian Cricket. The Australian Selection panel has gone through an upturning of its own, and the new members are looking to bring Australia back to the forefront of international cricket.
The biggest test will be how Arthur deals with the Australian media. In South Africa, Arthur dealt with a media base that is supportive and slow to critisize. The Australian media keeps much closer tabs on the work and success level of their coaches, and it will be interesting to see if Arthur can take the heat. Only time will tell.
Photo Credit: ASSOCIATED PRESS