Cricket Australia's dirty laundry is now being aired
while the Australian team prepare for the second test. Former coach
Mickey Arthur is suing Cricket Australia following his public
sacking just 10 days before the first Ashes test. Arthur has filed
proceedings in the Fair Work Commission alleging, among other
things, that his sacking was unlawful on the grounds of racial
That is, Arthur claims that he was discriminated against because
of his South African background and because of a perception that he
didn't understand the "Australian way". He also
alleges that he was not supported by Cricket Australia over the
"homework gate" affair resulting in four players being
sent home from an Indian tour.
Arthur is claiming damages in the order of $4 million, which he
estimates to be his losses resulting from the early termination of
his contract which was due to expire in June 2015. Plus he wanted a
further 3 years beyond that time. While damages for general
protections claims are not subject to a cap, a damages award in
that amount based on discrimination alone would certainly be
exceptional. If a resolution isn't reached in the Fair Work
Commission, Arthur will likely elect to pursue his claim in the
Federal Court, at which time he can add common law claims such as
breach of contract.
The timing is unfortunate for the Australian team as documents
supporting Arthur's claim shed light on the conflict between
internal team factions, particularly Michael Clarke and Shane
Watson. Hardly the distraction the players need after being so
close, yet so far, from victory at Trent Bridge. Cricket Australia
will no doubt do its best to salvage the situation when it meets
with Arthur at an upcoming case conference. Let's just hope the
Australian team can do the same at Lord's.
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