South Africa coach quits ahead of India tour

In an unexpected turn of events, South African coach Mickey Arthur is said to have quit his post.

updated: January 26, 2010 19:05 IST
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With Mickey Arthur stepping down unexpectedly, former pacer Corrie van Zyl could be appointed as a stop-gap coach of the cricket team for the tour of India next month.

Arthur quit his post on Monday reportedly due to differences with skipper Graeme Smith.

Although there was no comment from Cricket South Africa (CSA) or Van Zyl, the Afrikaans daily 'Beeld' quoted sources as saying that the former national fast bowler would leave for India with the team on Saturday.

CSA had last year appointed Van Zyl as performance manager at the Centre for Excellence in Pretoria.

There are reports that Arthur's right-hand man, Vincent Barnes, has also been dismissed and the future of the national selection committee under Mike Procter is also in doubt as CSA is reviewing the team's performance against England in the Test series, which ended in a draw.

The relationship between Smith and Arthur broke down during that series and both were involved in a war of words.

Arthur had led the Proteas to their first Test victory against England in more than 40 years when they went there and also guided the team in their triumph over Australia on their own turf last year.

But he failed to secure a return series against the Australians, the inaugural Twenty20 world championship and the Champions Trophy.

The 'Beeld' reported that Arthur had met CSA chief executive Gerald Majola yesterday to agree on a settlement package after the coach last year declined an 800,000 rands offer to coach England.

He had opted to serve out the rest of his CSA contract until the 2011 World Cup in India, Sri Lanka and Bangladesh.

The daily said Arthur is expected to host a media conference in his home town of East London today or tomorrow.

Meanwhile, speculation is rife that former captain Kepler Wessels and former English player Jeremy Snipes are on the shortlist with Van Zyl for a permanent appointment to the position of coach.

Snipes joined the Proteas last year as a consultant and has a good relationship with Smith because they both serve in the IPL side Rajasthan Royals.