Stung by Arthur's 'cancer' comment amid Ashes loss, Aussies tread into 2nd test
Just when Australia thought they'd put the departure of sacked former coach Mickey Arthur behind them however, the row over the South African's controversial exit has been reignited in spectacular fashion.cricket Updated: Jul 17, 2013 18:36 IST
After just a three-day break since England's thrilling 14-run win over Australia in the first Test at Trent Bridge, the Ashes rivals will meet for the second of a five-match series at Lord's on Thursday.
But the manner in which Australia competed in Nottingham suggests Ashes-holders England will not have things all their own way.
Just when Australia thought they'd put the departure of sacked former coach Mickey Arthur behind them however, the row over the South African's controversial exit has been reignited in spectacular fashion.
Arthur, fired just 16 days before the Ashes, is taking legal action against Cricket Australia.
He is seeking up to Aus$4 million (US$3.69 million) in compensation, claiming he was discriminated against because he was South African and "didn't understand the Australian way".
thoughts with mickey arthur today; a personal loss far greater than a professional one. he's a man of great dignity.— Harsha Bhogle (@bhogleharsha) June 26, 2013
According to Australian broadcaster Channel Seven, the legal documents also reveal a major rift in the team between captain Michael Clarke and former vice-captain Shane Watson.
Clarke allegedly described the role of Watson, one of four players dropped by Arthur for the third Test in Mohali in March, as a "cancer". South African called himself the "meat in the sandwich" between the conflicting camps.
Arthur, sacked two years before his contract was due to expire, claimed Clarke embraced the need for discipline, while Watson did not, Channel Seven said.
Watson has since been replaced as vice-captain by Brad Haddin but the all-rounder remains in the side as an opening batsman.
Wicketkeeper Haddin, whose second innings 71 so nearly led Australia to victory in Nottingham, insisted on Tuesday that all was well with the side.
"The Australian dressing room is fine. I don't know how many times we need to answer this," Haddin said.
Australia's tenth-wicket pair were responsible for 228 runs at Trent Bridge, including a world record stand of 163 in the first innings that featured teenage debutant Ashton Agar's 98 -- the highest score by a Test No 11.
"Our tail has done really well over a period of time now but it's time for the batters to make sure they're making the runs," said Lehmann.
Thanks for all the support from all over the world, boys where great and are ready to go again.aussie spirit high . #Ashes— Darren Lehmann (@darren_lehmann) July 15, 2013
"The Australians are fighters," he said.
"They're not going to lie down and die at any stage and we had to fight equally as hard, if not harder, to get ourselves in position to win the game and then go that one step further and actually win it.
"It's going to be exactly the same this week and we're steeling ourselves for that," Prior added.
The first Test was also full of umpiring controversies and highlighted how just four men -- Pakistan's Aleem Dar, Sri Lanka's Kumar Dharmasena, South Africa's Marais Erasmus and New Zealand's Tony Hill -- are currently eligible to control Ashes matches.
As has long been scheduled, Dharmasena will again be standing at Lord's, with Erasmus moving from third umpire to an on-field role. Hill takes over the replay duties, while Dar will sit this match out.
First Published: Jul 17, 2013 13:37 IST