Melbourne, Nov 22: Former South Africa coach Mickey Arthur was on Tuesday appointed the head coach of Australian cricket team. Arthur, who will also be acting as the national selector, is the first foreign coach for Australia.
A former first-class batsman, he guided South Africa to the world No.1 ranking in all three forms of the game during his tenure as Proteas coach from 2005-10.
Ironically, that included a historic series win in Australia in 2008-09.
He has been contracted until after the 2015 World Cup, to be held in Australia and New Zealand.
"To be coaching a team of the ilk of Australia is something I'm very, very proud about," Arthur said.
"I think I bring a fresh, unblinkered eye to the role after plotting against Australia when coaching South Africa, and having now worked within the Australian system with the (West Australian) Warriors.
"I have got pretty much a really good idea of where we need to go with the team and what we need to do to have sustainable success over the next period of time."
Arthur, who scored 6657 first class runs, including 13 centuries, said he did not think coming from the "outside" would be a problem.
"I don't think that will matter," he said. "You get respect straight away when you actually get the job but then you've got to earn it during your period of time.
"I think I've earned that with any team I've been with and ultimately you want to be regarded and perceived as the best for the job irrespective of your nationality.
"My great-grandfather was Australian and my family will be looking to get residency here, so I really do feel like I have an affinity with Australia."
Arthur will have direct input on team selection, which he said he believed was a healthy facet of his job.
"Every team I've ever coached I've had a view on selection. I think that gives you a lot of credibility in the dressing room, the right message gets to the players, a good consistent message is getting to the players all the time," he said.
But Arthur would not be drawn on what the immediate future holds for former skipper Ricky Ponting or whether Ponting would be selected for the first Test against New Zealand.
"I'll defer that to the first selection meeting," Arthur said. "It's hard coming in from the outside without knowing what's going on in the team.
"We need a lot of information on that. That will be a discussion and something for (full-time selector) John Inverarity to take up."