Australia’s Ashes preparations have been plunged into disarray amid growing reports that coach Mickey Arthur has been relieved of his duties as the team’s coach.
With just over two weeks before the Aussies take on England in a bid to win back the prestigious urn, this decision appears a very odd one, while skipper Michael Clarke’s resignation as a selector has only further exacerbated the situation.
If anything the mayhem in the tourists’ camp has heaped even more value on the Three Lions’ 2/5 favouritism to complete a hat-trick of series victories over the old enemy.
It is expected that former batsman Darren Lehmann will take the reigns, which is news that many a fan of Australian cricket will welcome.
He has gleaned a fair amount of experience in first class cricket, coaching Queensland to Sheffield Shield and Big Bash wins on the domestic front, while he’s also sampled the IPL too.
Lehmann is currently marshalling the Australia A side that’s touring England along with the senior team, so his appointment has to be preferable to a total newcomer stepping into the role at such a pivotal time.
The ill-discipline in the Aussie camp has played a key part in Arthur’s departure, the most recent high-profile incident being David Warner’s attack on Joe Root in a Birmingham bar.
This has compounded a string of terrible results that obviously did the South African no favours, with a 4-0 trouncing in India in their last Test series ensuring morale would be dismally low for their renewal of hostilities with the English.
As it stands, Australia are 7/2 long shots to claim an Ashes win, though this doesn’t appear anywhere near sizeable enough to warrant a bet given their current state.
England are a far superior unit in the game’s longest format and such off-field hindrances distracting their next adversaries only further improves their chances, with a 5-0 whitewash not out of the question at 12/1.
All odds and markets accurate as of publication’s time and date