Former Australian cricket coach Mickey Arthur.

Former Australian cricket coach Mickey Arthur. Photo: Steven Siewert

The ghost of Mickey Arthur continues to haunt Australian cricket, with the sacked coach lamenting what he perceived was a lack of respect in the handling of his exit.

Australia has won the Ashes, defeated the world No.1 South Africa and, despite a poor showing at the World Twenty20, moved on from the turbulent events of mid-2013, but an interview Arthur recorded with Channel Nine, in which he admits part of him wanted Australia to lose to England during the summer, will screen on Saturday.

“I was almost thinking, ‘I want Australia to lose here’ you know and the next day waking up thinking ‘geez, but I want Clarke and Watson to get runs’,'' he says.

Although subsequent events appear to have vindicated the decision of James Sutherland and Pat Howard to change coaches just before last winter's Ashes in England, Arthur felt his tenure was undermined by mixed messages from Cricket Australia about his approach to discipline within the team.

Infamously, he was part of the management group that suspended four players for a Test in India, and his fate was sealed by David Warner's barroom punch during last year's Champions Trophy.

“I wanted the players to know what the values were and what was expected of them when they came into the Australia cricket team,” Arthur says in an interview for The Bottom Line.

“I really felt that the team needed to be grabbed by the scruff of the neck. I'll never forget Cricket Australia telling me I was too soft and I'd been too soft with the team…I kind of didn't know what they wanted.

“I take total responsibility. The thing that I didn't like, I felt the process was poor. I felt there was a lack of respect shown and that hurt me more than anything. Suddenly from where I'd been part of a lot of decisions and a lot of people bounced a lot of stuff off me, it sort of watered down a lot and I felt it, I did feel it.”

Arthur's sacking triggered a damaging lawsuit, later settled, and it was left to incoming coach Darren Lehmann to restore a sense of enjoyment some players felt had been missing from the dressing room. The South African, who has since accepted a coaching job in the Caribbean Premier League, has previously spoken of the deterioration of his relationship with Shane Watson, but insists the team was functioning well before he was dumped. 

“I would have liked to have just carried on just running it the way I was because I could feel something really good bubbling and I had a good healthy respect for a lot of the players," Arthur said.

"There was one or two that obviously we clashed with but you know that's going to happen in any team.”