Haddin insists Australia team in England are united

Arthur was relieved of his duties just 16 days before the first Test at Trent Bridge and replaced by Darren Lehmann due to poor results on the field and numerous disciplinary issues off it.

Jackson Bird, Usman Khawaja and Ashton Agar
Australia players Jackson Bird (left), Usman Khawaja and Ashton Agar (right) arrive for a practice session at Lord’s Cricket Ground in London yesterday. PIC/Getty Images

The South African is now seeking compensation, reported to be in the region of 4 million Aus dollars (£2.44m) following his sacking.

While that in itself would not disrupt the tourists’ focus in England, according to reports in Australia, the court documents lodged in his compensation claim also include claims captain Michael Clarke and experienced all-rounder Shane Watson are at loggerheads.

However, wicketkeeper-batsman Haddin insisted the camp are not paying attention to any off-field matters. “We’re all pretty excited to be in an Ashes campaign. Darren’s done a wonderful job, like all our staff and players,” he said at a press conference.

“We’ve gone over it before, it’s not hard to come up for an Ashes campaign, this is as good as it gets. All the other stuff that we can talk about is white noise so it’s not something that has affected the side at all.”

When pushed further on Arthur’s surprise sacking, Haddin added: “I’ve played under a lot of coaches. We can sit here and say who’s the best coach I’ve played under and who I didn’t get on with, but the bottom line is Darren Lehmann’s the coach of the Australian cricket team now and that’s not going to change.

“We’re here to play an Ashes campaign, I’m not going to get into what ifs and who was better than this and who was wasn’t as good as this; our job is to just get on with this campaign.

“The Australian dressing room is fine. I don’t know how many times we need to answer this. “I think everyone was surprised (by Arthur’s sacking), but there’s no point talking about it anymore. We’ve gone past all this, we’re moving forward with the campaign.” 

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