Arthur resigns as Proteas coach

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Mickey Arthur & Graeme Smith

Mickey Arthur appeared at Cricket South Africa's press call in East London today flanked by Proteas captain Graeme Smith

Mickey Arthur today cited "differences" between himself and Cricket South Africa for his decision to step down as coach of the national team.

The 41-year-old today confirmed he had resigned from the post he has held since May 2005, with high performance centre director Corrie van Zyl handed the reins while a replacement is sought.

"I've decided to resign as national coach of the Proteas with immediate effect as I feel it is of the best interests of me and the team," Arthur told a specially arranged press conference in East London.

"Differences have arisen between the board of Cricket South Africa and me and I don't believe I can take the team forward under the present circumstances.

"There comes a time when you have to move on and I know in my own mind that I've taken the right decision. It is never a bad thing to have a fresh pair of legs running the show and I wish my successor all the best in his endeavours."

Van Zyl will lead South Africa during their tour of India next month.

Arthur reflected that he achieved everything he wanted apart from winning a major one-day tournament such as the World Cup or the Champions Trophy.

He cited South Africa's 2-1 away win over England in 2008 as one of the crowning points of his tenure; the first time they had achieved that since readmission to international cricket.

“I am disappointed it was the one thing I didn’t get,” he said. “When I started, I said I wanted to get South Africa to number one in both forms of the game, we achieved that.

“I wanted to be the first South African coach to have won in England since unity, I wanted to be the first South African coach to have gone to Australia and won – I achieved all those goals.

“The only one I didn’t achieve was a World Cup or ICC event, so I’m pretty disappointed about that. Other than that I was very lucky and achieved that everything I wanted to.”

Kepler Wessels

Former captain Kepler Wessels joins an interim selection panel comprising chief executive Gerald Majola and Corrie van Zyl

It was later announced that members of the national selection committee, including Mike Procter, had been relieved of their duties as part of the restructuring process.

The convener will be replaced by CSA chief executive Gerald Majola, who is a former member of the national selection panel, the new interim boss van Zyl and former South Africa captain Kepler Wessels.

Majola said: “The board accepted his (Arthur’s) resignation, which came following the normal stocktaking process after the England series and against the backdrop of some disappointing results.

“As this process unfolded and remedies were sought, Mickey expressed a very honest and humble view that he did not believe at this stage he could continue as coach of the Proteas.

“The board wishes to thank Mickey for his great contribution to the advancement of the Proteas to the point where in 2008/09 they had their best season ever and finished on top of the world Test and ODI rankings.”

Captain Graeme Smith admitted that hearing of Arthur’s departure when the news initially broke yesterday had left him upset.

“Yesterday was a tough day for me,” he added. “Not only from the media reports, but also Mickey resigning had affected me.

“The two of us have had a great partnership over the last five years, obviously a captain-coach relationship is crucial.

“I think Mickey was integral to bringing a lot of stability to the team, calmness, and he can be very proud of what he’s achieved as coach.

“I really believe, as a captain, I’ve given Mickey my full support. I mean, we’ve really done everything to bring the best out of the team working together.”

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