Haddin's barbs reflect bad culture

22 November 2013 1:04 PM

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Former Australian cricket coach Mickey Arthur, in his exclusive column for The West, explains why he became a target for criticism from players.

It was with utter disbelief and disappointment that I read Brad Haddin's comments about me this week.

Again, sadly, it did not surprise me and clearly illustrates players always looking to blame someone else or the system before taking a good, hard look in the mirror at themselves.

Australian sport is going through a very interesting phase, with cricket at the forefront.

I must stress that I loved my time with the Australian team, and felt honoured and privileged to be coach of such a proud nation.

Most of the players were good, hard-working citizens who deserved everything they got. But some were living in the past and thought they were untouchable.

I was brought in as a change agent. The Argus Review had identified the need for there to be a cultural shift, with values and behaviours of all players dissected.

Disappointingly, I was not left to finish the job I started, castigated for being too soft on one hand and then too hard on the other.

So when Brad said I was insecure, damn right. We all were because the system made us that way - every move scrutinised, especially by people happier to see you fail rather than succeed.

Some in the old boys' club resented the fact that a South African had been brought in to coach the team and certainly made life very difficult.

I always felt that I had to do twice as well than if an Australian was coach.

What I tried to do was bring in the same principles that had made my time with South Africa very rewarding and successful.

Unfortunately, I found resistance to it along the way, especially from some senior players who always knew better.

The fact is if you do the same you get the same results, and the team was not going along all that flash when I came in. In contrast, the South African boys embraced it and ran with it.

Most Australian players bought into what we wanted to do, it was just a few who thought that they knew it all and at times I felt the coach was not treated as highly as in England or South Africa.

Good teams and organisations are based around good solid principles and values. A team comes together when it collectively decides to set some rigorous standards and adheres to them.

In Mohali, I made a massive decision to suspend four players from a Test match because they had not adhered to an instruction.

I was slaughtered for my decision by most of the public, ex-players and some of my bosses who thought it was just not cricket.

This week Ewen McKenzie suspended six Wallabies for not adhering to team protocol and he is seen as a strong leader and culture changer.

So, Brad when you say the team was jumping at shadows, of course it was because it was taking short cuts.

Winning teams play with smiles on their faces. I have often heard the quote "winning teams celebrate while losing teams have meetings". That is so true. We had meetings during that time and yes I did challenge players because we were striving to get results, always looking for a solution.

Brad, I think you are a fantastic player as your innings in this Test match showed, but understand I was very shocked by your remarks as I thought our relationship was strong.

Source: au.news.yahoo.com

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