File photo of Australia coach Mickey Arthur during a press conference. (Getty Images)
Melbourne: Despite Australia suffering a humiliating 0-4 Test series whitewash against India, coach Mickey Aurthur is unlikely to be sacked as Cricket Australia has backed him to continue at the job, though the board termed the team performance as "unacceptable".
CA Chief Executive James Sutherland said the team management, including Arthur and national selector John Inverarity, retain the board's support. Arthur, who took charge as coach in November 2011, has a contract until the end of the next World Cup, to be held in Australia and New Zealand in 2015, but has been under pressure after presiding over the country's heaviest defeat in a series in 34 years.
"Like the fans and the players, we all are disappointed with our performances in India. We always knew the conditions would be uniquely tough and we went to India with a team that is young and relatively inexperienced by current international cricket comparison," Sutherland said.
"But it is not acceptable to either Australian cricket fans or to any of us involved to lose so convincingly. While the group has had a difficult month, its resolve has never been higher and I know we will bounce back," he was quoted as saying by Sydney Morning Herald.
There has been speculation about Queensland coach Darren Lehmann being considered as a replacement for the South African but, according to the newspaper, the CA said it was not true.
Sutherland said the board continued to back the tough stance taken by Arthur, captain Michael Clarke and team manager Gavin Dovey in Mohali where four players were suspended for not submitting a presentation to the coach on ways to improve individual and team performance.
"Our last board meeting took a detailed presentation on team performance plans, as we move through the current transition period, and endorsed the approach Pat Howard, Michael Clarke, Mickey Arthur and the selectors are taking as we identify, develop and blood the next generation of talent," Sutherland said.
"The board has since endorsed a tougher approach to team discipline sought by the team leadership group and I have been encouraged by the players' individual and collective response on that front," he said.
Sutherland, however, conceded that there were "issues to assess" before the ICC Champions Trophy in June and the Ashes in England in July and August, including the team's poor batting. "Clearly - and as is always the case after any major tour - there are issues to assess before our next departure overseas, including our batting and progress with injury and rehabilitation."