Chaos in Proteas ranks

2010-01-26 07:31

Altus Momberg and Eduan Roos

Johannesburg – The shock resignation of Proteas coach Mickey Arthur has dumped the South African team’s preparations for the important tour of India into chaos.

GALLERY: Mickey Arthur - highs and lows

Corrie van Zyl, who is CSA’s high performance centre coach, will apparently take the team to India. It will be a tough task to gain the team’s confidence at short notice.

The first Test starts in Nagpur on February 6.

The process to look for a new coach will start when the team returns from India. It will not be easy to find a successor for Arthur.

A favourite such as Gary Kirsten still has two years left to run on his contract with India.

It is not a major surprise that Arthur has decided to pack his bags now. The Proteas’ poor performances in 2009 obviously did not help his cause.

Captain Graeme Smith and Arthur had the world at their feet at the end of 2008, but were brought down to earth with a thud in 2009.

They lost at home to Australia and lost in the semi-finals of the Twenty20 world championship.

A poor performance in the Champions Trophy tournament was followed by a defeat in the one-day series against England.

The drawn Test series against England was apparently the final straw.

It became evident in the last few weeks of the Test series against England that the once formidable partnership of Arthur and Smith was deteriorating.

It was Smith’s statements on the eve of the last Test against England that raised many eyebrows.

Arthur spoke about how the Proteas would “gamble” to win the Test.

Smith then made a point of saying at his news conference: “I don’t agree with words like ‘gamble’. You rather have to do the basic things right. A good, positive mental approach is important. We have to find a way of getting the best out of the players and help them realise their potential.”

This was apparently a swipe at team management.


  • Karl - 2010-01-26 07:41

    Is this not being used as an excuse to resign. If it is then it is like children playing when people get upset about who said what to who and when they said it. These are growen men who are paid huge amounts of money to play cricket. What a life. It will be interesting to see where Arthur ends up in the next few months. Is this not a case of a better coaching job has come up and this is a good excuse to use when he is actually just turning his back on SA cricket. England here we come perhaps?

  • jason - 2010-01-26 07:43

    Graham - if you only gambled a bit on the first test we would have won the series but oh no - you are too much of a w@nker to take a risk - you rather loose or draw a match

  • Dunks - 2010-01-26 07:46

    It is long overdue that Arthur goes. All that is now needed is a new Captain

  • Pierre - 2010-01-26 07:47

    Bull Shit dont blame the coach blame the players. I watch most of the games the Proteas played last year and this year and they played like school boys. Now it is the coach to be blamed. How casn you blame a coach if the same players that played well a year ago now play like grsed 5 this year. I say changed the captain and some players and start fresh to prepare for the world cup next year. I am really sorry to hear micky resigned and i hope we get a hiding by Indie just to prove it is the players and not the coach. Sies Smit you fly to high come down to earth for a change.

  • jay - 2010-01-26 07:48

    they must not bring in Kepler Wessels as coach, otherwise it will be going back to one run an over cricket instead of the more exciting stuff now.

  • Dropsmith - 2010-01-26 07:49

    Smith as captain (and opening bat!) inspires no confidence. His personality seems totally unsuitable to captaincy. Without him the team has played much better. He should be dropped as captain. Maybe then his batting partners would also prosper more?

  • 1eye - 2010-01-26 07:51

    Biff should be on the same plane & give captain role to either Hash or AB Preferably Hash he has the head, he has the humility and the brains Biff has neither

  • pearl - 2010-01-26 07:51

    Arthur had a good run with the team, maybe it is time for fresh blood and lets let go of Gibs, Prince and Ntini and bring in the new hungry boys out there

  • Mike D - 2010-01-26 07:51

    Maybe it is time for Graham Smith to realise that he is captain, and not coach. He was the reason that Ray Jennings resigned.There will always be times the Captain and Coach disagree, but Smith seems to " sulk" when decisions are made that he does not agree with 100%... I have always seen Micky Arthur as a Graham Smith puppet, so I am glad he is saying " so far and no more"...... Maybe SA Cricket need to consider Smith as captain. A great batsman, but in my eyes a "spoilt little boy" approach to captaincy. Bring back Jennings, even if we then need a new captain

  • Gavin - 2010-01-26 07:54

    Get somebody like Kepler to step in. He at least knows whether we should bat or bowl when we win the toss. But then again, he is too strong a personality to take *&^% from the players, especially the so-called senior mafia.

  • Sean - 2010-01-26 07:55

    Just maybe we should get rid of the Captain rather, bring him back to earth, why must Arthur go if the team does not want to play, and i am 100% sure there are other political factors that have also contributed to his decision. Hey maybe Smith wants to play Coach now aswell? Sport is no longer what is used to be sport, more like a political battlefield.

  • dave - 2010-01-26 07:57

    Just a thought,Mickey is a yes boy to CSA and will play so many players of colour even if he bats them out of position.Mr Prince has never opened the batting,not a school,club or provincial level so why open at test level.By saying yes to so many players of colour and not standing up to CSA the axe has got you.Maybee Procter is next?

  • Magno - 2010-01-26 07:57

    Smith - take the hint !!! The coach resigns and the captain and goes to India wondering what his relationship will be like with the acting coach .... new blood is needed to captain this side RIGHT NOW.

  • George - 2010-01-26 07:57

    Biff is becoming too big for his boots......It is all too easy to distance yourself from "management" when things go badly and take ALL the credit when things go well. Hard luck Mickey, another victim..............

  • d - 2010-01-26 07:58

    Duncan Fletcher. Brilliant when he coached Western Province and helped England win their first Ashes victory in yonks. My vote goes to him.

  • Frans - 2010-01-26 07:58

    It should have been Jennings in the first place and I canpromised you that at least Smitie's physical condition would have been way better than now.

  • Semloh - 2010-01-26 07:59

    Well done Mickey, great to see you have the balls to leave on your own terms, unlike other declining coaches or politicians who will stay till the bitter end to milk the cash cow. For those calling for Smith's head you remember how it was when he first started out? Compared to Hansie, Pollock etc Smith was an aggressive captain and that matched his aggressive personality and batting. Over the years he has become more conservative with his captaincy but his other traits have remained aggressive, therefore it is my personal opinion that management such as Authur has pegged back Smith's style. Yes, the last Test against the Poms was a must win, but I think that is more how Smith wants to play test matches and that could have almost been a case of - "Mickey let me do it my way and if I prove you wrong you on your way mate" ???

  • Walt - 2010-01-26 08:00

    Not a huge loss I'm sorry to say. Arthur hasn't really impressed at any time other than when the side won in Aus last year. That's when Duminy blasted onto the scene and AB was in form. We need a hard arse character like Duncan Fletcher - and I'm sure he's available. Problem solved in quick time and I'm sure the team will gel again.

  • koos - 2010-01-26 08:00

    Poor Corrie van Zyl, he must always bail everyone out....think it is bad style from Arthur to run away and saw the game Cobras played on Friday and must say Graham Smith is a real D++k

  • Ian D - 2010-01-26 08:01

    There is no doubt that we were the better team in the English test series. There were some bad team selections made, poor performances from key players, and bad captaining errors, conspiring to a drawn series. Who should shoulder the responsibility/blame? Smith certainly in the two drawn tests with bad bowling changes at the end of the innings when Duminy and Harris should have been bowled on turning wickets. Prince was never comfortable and prefers 5, so choose an opening bat? The selectors for not including Parnell earlier, but including Ntini. Mkhaya has been great, but passed inclusion date! Both are AA players if that's what CSA want. Ultimately, it's all a bit messy, with too many egos, political agendas and a lack of killer instinct.

  • Bafu - 2010-01-26 08:02

    You have 4 players in that squad that won't be told what to do, no matter who the coaches are. The coaches get paid huge amount and would rather sit on the gravy train and enjoy the lifestyle than to open their mouth to those 4 key players and risk of getting fired. Vincent Barnes is a good example. Mickey is a great guy, but he lost the authority over the players a long time ago. Our problem is not the coach, but those 4 players that drag the whole team down.

  • Anon - 2010-01-26 08:02

    I also think that both Smith and Arthur should go. Smith's style will lead us into the ground. He is a good cricketer (at times), but I don;t think he should be captain.

  • GAVIN - 2010-01-26 08:02

    Smith is the poison in SA cricket, he must go!

  • Brett - 2010-01-26 08:03

    A change will bring a breath of fresh air into the team...!! Didn't think we were going to achieve much more under Aurther anyway. He did well but I suppose his time has come. Kepler Wessels should replace him with Allan Donald as the bowling coach and Duncan Fletcher as the batting coach.

  • Jakes - 2010-01-26 08:04

    Come now. How can you call for Smith's head, when he is one of the only constant performers in the last few tests. Everybody loved him a year ago - when we beat Australia - and last year he was News24's Hero of the Month....voted by you. You all flipping good weather supporters....useless - go support India or something!

  • Something Foul - 2010-01-26 08:04

    Bring back Ray Jennings - he did not take the players nonsense. Graham Smith also nned to start using a bit of CS in his decisions - at times I wonder if he is not trying deliberately to loose games!

  • Imboro - 2010-01-26 08:05

    SMITH is the persistent problem, for some reason CSA seems to back the wanker, he is mediocre not even good...why do they support him...maybe they have to cause he knows lots about them and their corruption...smith mustr go right now and bring arthur back and bring in a new competent captain. Arthur will be better off not having to deal with the abnoxious little twirp, he will find a job where he is happy and no Smith to throw his weight about. Go Mickey you are worth 10 times more than smith...Smith is the Luke watson of cricket...both absolute wankers

  • Something Foul - 2010-01-26 08:05

    Bring back Ray Jennings - he did not take the players nonsense. Graham Smith also nned to start using a bit of CS in his decisions - at times I wonder if he is not trying deliberately to loose games!

  • Ladnar - 2010-01-26 08:06

    Get a black coach. It worked for the boks!

  • Scott - 2010-01-26 08:07

    Micky Arthur grow a pair of balls: tell Graeme Smith to fill in or Fck Off. i know of a certain football coach (Sir Alex Ferguson) would take no kak. Graeme Smith is my new Chuck Norris Graeme Smith is so good, that he hits a 100 off only 1 ball

  • Thabo - 2010-01-26 08:07

    A friend of mine inside the Proteas setup says that Greame is a DICTATOR. It's his way or the highway. He thinks he runs SA Cricket. Maybe that is why Arthur left which I think is good - new coach - new ideas and tactics. I agree with Jay - please not Kepler. They must bring back Ray Jennings.

  • Mark - 2010-01-26 08:07

    Biff is a prick who eats and chews with his mouth open. I'd rather have seen Smith go and Johan Botha take over as captain. At least he beat the Ausies at home.

  • LBW - 2010-01-26 08:08

    What is new with Smith around. He loves himself and is surrounded by his gang of four , Kallis , AB , Boucher and Prince. He won't be happy with nobody. The fool was not even happy with Minky !!!!!!! Get rid of him asap.

  • KELVIN MUNSTER - 2010-01-26 08:09

    Now is the time to seriously thinkof relieving Graeme Smith of the captaincy. he is far too cautious, and brings a one-dimensional aspect to the Proteas. Added to this, he is arrogant and pig-headed.But keep him in the team, as he is a good batsman. My choice for captain..look no further than Neil McKenzie,,,a born leader. Its also now time to get rid of Mark Boucher...a once great player now sadly playing on his reputation. Ashwell Prince and JP Duminy (2 quota players) should also get dropped.

  • PhatCat - 2010-01-26 08:09

    All those calling for Smith to resign - please suggest a credible better captain? If you take the time to look at the stats on Cricinfo site you will see that since Smith has been captain in 2002/2003 he has been the 4th best batsmen in the world (behind Ponting, Sehwag and Kallis), and, of all the international cricket captains, only Ricky Ponting has a better Test match win ratio over the same period.

  • Mark - 2010-01-26 08:11

    I can't say I agree with Karl in all respects. I believe that Graeme Smith has something incriminating against the cricket board, he just has to have. Shaun Pollock was dropped as captain after losing in the world cup. Smith has lost in a 50 Over World Cup, 20 Over World Cup, did dismally in the champs trophy and has had countless strange results, yet he remains captain? I don't deny that we don't have many people who could take over from Smith as captain, but maybe he should step down too. I am not a great fan of Mickey, but it seems the Smith is untouchable. He has now gone through two coaches and a number of (talented) players that left because of him, or that he couldn't get along with them, I know it was the case with Lance Klusner and to speculate I think Andrew Hall, Boeta Dippenaar and Jacques Rudolf may have had the same issue. And I fear that most of the current players know that if they say something against Smith they will be shipped to the darkest depths of club cricket and may never be seen again. Lets wipe the slate clean, bring back Ray Jennings and let him stomp on all the toes that he needs to, to get the job done. Even if they are Smiths toes.

  • EDWARD - 2010-01-26 08:11

    The obvious coach for the Proteas is Shukri Conrad. South Africa will then have the two best coaches worldwide in rugby and cricket.We will then be the envy of the rest of the world. No one will beat us .

  • Tony - 2010-01-26 08:12

    I agree with Pierre, Why when a team does badly the coach is to blame and when they do well its the players. Example, Frans Ludike Lions coach was fired he then goes to the bulls an wins the Super 14. There are three components to a winning team. Competant, commited and professional Management, Coach and Players

  • C - 2010-01-26 08:12

    Why do so many of you hate Graeme? He is a great batsman and captain. who on earth is strong enough to replace him in the team? is it just that all your cave man ego's feel a little threatened by this mentally and physically strong presence? Vooitog!

  • valentino - 2010-01-26 08:13

    Smith must go as captian too. He looks good when his bowlers are getting wickets, but when they bowl poor he cannot "think" a batsmen out. He just stands there while they pile on the runs (think second test vs England). He gave away the first test as well by letting Ntini bowl that last over, I mean how STUPID is that? AB is the right candidate too take over the reigns with Kepler as coach. Smith can then only bat and the rest of the time he can daydream over a certain koogle's DDD's.

  • JohanB PTA - 2010-01-26 08:13

    The wrong person resigned - it should have been Smith!

  • John B - 2010-01-26 08:14

    I think Graham is an inspirational captain who inspires confidence in the top order as well as the young players. He is also an aggressive captain who is respected by other team captains and players alike. Keep Graham Smith and compliment him with Kepler Wessels as coach. Together I think they would make a formiddible team as long as their respective roles are clearly defined.

  • Coach - 2010-01-26 08:14

    We don't need coaches in SA ! Look at rugby, run by senior players, Div is a token. Cricket run by the senior Mafia; soccer, they do their own thing on the field because they are an arrogant bunch of spoilt brats like the rest in SA. What a waste of money !

  • stoffel - 2010-01-26 08:15

    All you Smith-bashers are just jealous because he's a real man, not some sorry loser who sits and whine about everything on a website. He goes out and does the job. I agree he's arrogant, but if someone achieves what he has, I have no problem. Maybe you should start being a little more positive and look at peoples' good attributes instead of always bashing people because of your own insecurities.

  • Player23 - 2010-01-26 08:15

    Hallelujah.... this is exactly what the Proteas need , a bit of shakeup, all the best to Arthur and now i think this should be followed up with a new skipper !!!

  • Dave - 2010-01-26 08:15

    What about Boycott? He knows everything! :)

  • Bozo - 2010-01-26 08:17

    I am astounded that when the coach decides to resign, people out there take this as a chance to attack the captain. Smith is one of the best captains SA has ever had. A side needs a strong captain; when things are tough on the field, he is the one there to speak to the players, they cannot run off to the coach for guidance! It is indeed sad that Mickey has left, but the side needs the stability of Smith, and definately need the support of the SA public for their tour to India. You Biff Bashers make me sick, you should be ashamed of yourselves. Not sure how many of you would have pulled out a ton when it was needed against England. Twice.

  • SupaNova - 2010-01-26 08:18

    Smith has had his run, but the glory days don't last forever. Is it his time to leave? maybe. maybe not. I just wonder what line Smith is gonna use to pick up chicks at Tiger when hes no longer captain of the Proteas, coz it sure as heck isn't gonna be his six-pack that gets the girls...

  • valentino - 2010-01-26 08:18

    Smith must go as captian too. He looks good when his bowlers are getting wickets, but when they bowl poor he cannot "think" a batsmen out. He just stands there while they pile on the runs (think second test vs England). He gave away the first test as well by letting Ntini bowl that last over, I mean how STUPID is that? AB is the right candidate too take over the reigns with Kepler as coach. Smith can then only bat and the rest of the time he can daydream over a certain koogle's DDD's.

  • sean - 2010-01-26 08:19

    Smith is pathetic !!! Big mouth arrogant !!!