Arthur Australian cricket team's first foreign coach

The former South African manager pledges to bring a fresh approach to the team.

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SYDNEY // Mickey Arthur has vowed to bring a fresh approach to the role of Australia's head coach.

The South African was appointed yesterday two months after Tim Nielsen quit, completing a sweeping revamp of the way the team is run.

The 43 year old is the first non-Australian to take the job and will assume the reins for the first Test against New Zealand in Brisbane on December 1.

"I am honoured and privileged to have another chance to coach an international team, particularly a team of the ilk of Australia," said Arthur, who coached South Africa from 2005 until 2010.

Since then he has worked with Western Australia.

"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 Western Warriors," he said. "Australia has an abundance of cricket talent and I am confident the talent is there to ensure Australia is successful."

The announcement came hours after the Australians chased down a target of 310 in Johannesburg to beat South Africa and share their two-match Test series, where Troy Cooley was in the role of interim coach.

Cooley had made clear he would not be applying for the head coach job, with Steve Rixon, the former Test wicketkeeper and NSW coach, seen by many as the front-runner.

Tom Moody and Justin Langer were also candidates, but Arthur won the race.

His appointment follows recommendations by the Argus Review, sparked by the team's humiliating 3-1 Ashes series defeat to England this year and aimed at getting Australia back to the top of world cricket.

Andrew Hilditch, the chief selector, and fellow selector Greg Chappell were high-profile casualties of the seven-month probe, headed by Don Argus, the former chief of the mining giant BHP Billiton.

Based on the findings, a new chairman of selectors, the former Test batsman John Inverarity, was appointed on a full-time basis last month. Hilditch had been part-time.

Pat Howard, the former rugby union international, was also picked as general manager for team performance - a new position recommended by the review, with Arthur to report to him and James Sutherland, the Cricket Australia chief executive.

Howard said Arthur was the best man for the job, after what he said was a global search and review of a long list of candidates.