London, June 24: Former Test batsman Darren Lehmann has been appointed as the head coach of Australia following the sacking of Mickey Arthur on Monday.
In a sudden and shocking move on Monday, Cricket Australia (CA) sacked Arthur with just 16 days left for Ashes Test series against England.
CA announced on Monday afternoon that Lehmann will take charge with immediate effect. Lehmann will be the coach till the ICC World Cup in June 2015.
CA CEO 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."
"This has been a difficult decision to make but one that we feel is necessary. 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," added Sutherland.
Arthur, who was named Australia coach in November 2011, said he was disappointed.
"Naturally I'm very disappointed with how this has all ended. I certainly wanted to see the job through but I accept that the team hasn't been completely galvanised under my leadership and our performances have been inconsistent.
"I'm certainly a believer in good culture and traditions much like all Australians and feel we were starting to get a shift in the right direction. We certainly need the team to be absolutely unified if we're any chance of beating the English," said Arthur.