Australian Cricket coach sacked 16 days before the Ashes
Mickey Arthur has been sacked as Australia head coach and replaced by Darren Lehmann, Cricket Australia has confirmed.
The shock move comes just 16 days before the start of the Ashes series, amid concerns over the team's form and a string of disciplinary issues.
CA chief executive James Sutherland said: "The timing is far from ideal but we didn't feel we could sit back and hope matters would change without addressing issues critical to a high-performing team culture.
"It obviously isn't the type of change we want to make three weeks out from the Ashes commencing but we believe a change is needed."
CA also confirmed in its website statement that, as part of the coaching restructure, captain Michael Clarke had "sought to step down as a selector of the team".
Sutherland insisted the decision to replace Arthur with Lehmann had not been taken lightly.
"This has been a difficult decision to make but one that we feel is necessary," he said in the statement.
"We are looking to establish a high-performing Australian cricket team that is consistent over a period of time.
"To achieve that, we need all the parts moving in the right direction. Recent on-field results have been too inconsistent.
"Discipline, consistency of behaviour and accountability for performance are all key ingredients that need to improve. And we see that the head coach is ultimately responsible for that.
"The Cricket Australia board decided yesterday that Mickey Arthur should not continue as head coach of the Australian cricket team. In taking this decision, the board accepted the recommendation to make an immediate change as being in the best interests of the team."