Cricket: Australia sacks national coach Mickey Arthur, replaces him with Darren Lehmann

BRISTOL (AFP) - Darren Lehmann was appointed as the new coach of the Australia cricket team on Monday, Cricket Australia chief executive James Sutherland announced.

Lehmann's appointment came after Mickey Arthur was dramatically sacked just 16 days before the first Ashes Test at Trent Bridge, central England.

Former Australia batsman Lehmann was already in England as coach of the second-string Australia A side.

South African Arthur, the first foreign-born coach of the Australian team when appointed in November 2011, appeared to have paid the price for a 0-4 Test series loss in India, a poor Champions Trophy campaign and a lack of discipline within the team.

This culminated with an incident which saw David Warner punch England's Joe Root in a bar in Birmingham earlier this month.

England hold the Ashes and will be looking to win their third successive Test series over arch-rivals Australia - something they last achieved in the 1950s - when a five-match campaign starts at Nottingham's Trent Bridge ground next month.