Mickey Arthur (WHO?) new South African coach

Mickey Arthur, made famous in recent days for being, erm, well, because no one knew who he was. And no one knows much more now, either. And he’s now head coach of the South African Cricket team! Hopefully we’ll learn more about him in the next few months, and why he is a better coach than old Ray Jennings.

I’m still not convinced South Africa are “back on track.” Any win, especially a series win, is a good win…but against the worst West Indian side in history (even worse than when England played them), and one of the worst International sides playing at the moment, it isn’t much to write home about.

South African Cricket didn’t take well to England beating them – and bear in mind, England were only playing to 60% of their potential and virtually without Stephen Harmison – as their record at home had been impenetrable, for years. And Ray “killer” Jennings really didn’t help matters, despite what he says today:

He said ahead of Arthur’s appointment: “I could write a chapter on how each player has sharpened up and I believe I’ve added value.

“I don’t want to be likeable, but losing. I have ruffled a few feathers.”

Ruffling (great word) a few feathers is fine, Ray – if you’re a pigeon. And does hitting your captain in the face (twice!) come under the category of “feather ruffling”? Come off it; you’re a poor coach, intimidatory man-manager and the best entertainment South African cricket’s had since Jonty Rhodes. Let’s reminisce!

“His [Ray Jennings] aggressive methods, which caused the injury to his captain Graeme Smith during the warm-up on this Test’s fourth morning, are controversial to say the least”

“If Smith’s injury had been an unlucky accident Jennings could be forgiven, but this is the second time in two months that a player has been concussed courtesy of Jennings’ warm-up bat. In Kanpur six weeks ago the unlucky man was Dippenaar. It is one thing having a hard nut as a coach, quite another having simply a nut.”

Mickey Mouse’s first series will be against the New Zealanders in October (good series, that, but let’s hope New Zealand can find a quickie, or re-awaken Shane Bond…)

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