Sydney: Australia's Ashes campaign with England was in turmoil just weeks before the series starts after coach Mickey Arthur was sensationally sacked, sources said, with Darren Lehmann expected to be announced as his replacement.
     
South African Arthur was dumped after a meeting with Cricket Australia chief executive James Sutherland in Bristol, reports said.
 
"Cricket Australia will hold a media conference with James Sutherland and (high performance coach) Pat Howard in Bristol tonight to discuss the coaching structure of the Australian team," Cricket Australia said in a statement.
     
Reports said Queensland coach Lehmann, who is in England coaching Australia A, would replace Arthur, 45, whose contract was due to run until the end of the World Cup in March 2015.
     
Arthur, the first foreign-born coach of the Australian team when appointed in November 2011, appears to have paid the price for a poor Champions Trophy campaign and a lack of discipline within the team, which came to a head with a David Warner punch-up incident earlier this month.
     
Sutherland was furious and demanded the team crack down on bad behaviour.
     
Warner was fined AUD 11,500 and suspended until the start of the Ashes series for punching England batsman Joe Root in a Birmingham bar during the Champions Trophy.
     
Several others players were with him in the bar in the early hours of the morning, raising concerns about the culture inside the Australian squad.
     
It followed Vice-captain Shane Watson, James Pattinson, Mitchell Johnson and Usman Khawaja all being disciplined during the India tour this year after failing to submit feedback requested by team management.
     
Arthur, whose Test record since taking over was 10 wins, six losses and three draws, courted controversy by sending the players home midway through the series.

(Agencies)

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