SA cricket coach Mickey Arthur resigns

South African cricket coach Mickey Arthur has resigned, the South African Broadcasting Corporation reported on Tuesday.

Arthur is expected to give reasons for his shock resignation on Wednesday.

Proteas media manager Michael Owen-Smith said on Tuesday morning that he could neither confirm nor deny the reports that Arthur had resigned, but said Arthur and Cricket SA (CSA) chief executive
Gerald Majola would address the media in Arthur’s home town, East London, on Wednesday morning.

Arthur was reported to have held talks with Majola in Johannesburg on Monday. Their meeting followed a meeting of CSA and Proteas management last week, where South Africa’s performance in the recent series against England was discussed.

South Africa and England drew the Test series one-all, although South Africa dominated three of the four Test matches.

Majola said before last week’s meeting that it had been planned in December, and was not a reaction to South Africa’s failure to win the series.

“The Proteas are our greatest asset and the meeting will discuss ways in which they can get even better,” Majola said before the meeting.

“This is our last opportunity to meet with the management of the team –including coach Mickey Arthur and captain Graeme Smith — before they go to India and then on to the West Indies for the World Twenty20 and the tour of the islands.

“The next time we can have a meeting like this is in June. Our financial year ends in April and we need to know what the Proteas need to improve.

“Maybe they need a specialist coach of some kind, or more medical staff — but we have to include that in our budget for the next financial year.”

Arthur is understood to have resigned because of a irreparable breakdown in relations with Smith.

Tension between the two was evident when Smith publicly challenged remarks by Arthur that South Africa would have to take a few gambles to win the fourth Test at the Wanderers and thereby level the series.

2009 was a difficult year for the Proteas, following on the triumphs of 2008, when they beat England and Australia at home. However, Australia won the return series in South Africa 2-1, and England held South Africa to a one-all draw in the four Test

Arthur’s resignation comes just four days before the Proteas leave for a tour of India, where they will play two Tests and three one-day internationals.

It is reported that the head of CSA’s High Performance Centre, Corrie van Zyl, has been appointed interim coach. – Sapa

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