When Coach Mickey Arthur became 'Aussie Mickey'

Last Updated: Sun, Jun 17, 2012 12:25 hrs

Five months after taking over as the first foreign coach of the Australian cricket team, South African Mickey Arthur holds one moment very close to his heart - of being finally recognized by the cricketers as a true-blue Aussie.

That seminal moment came after the Australians drubbed the Indians four-nil in a Down Under series.

Arthur recalls that as the Indians cowered away from their Adelaide Oval hiding in January, wicketkeeper Brad Haddin and opener Ed Cowan wandered over and handed the Australian coach a package.

The same Arthur, who six weeks earlier had presided, in his first series as national coach, over a wobbly 1-1 series tie with New Zealand. He was the first foreign-born Australian cricket boss, who for years had plotted the Kangaroos demise on the cricket field.

Arthur unfolded the T-shirt to read words emblazoned upon it that made his heart skip a beat: "Aussie Mickey."

Even now, while in full preparation mode for a short, but vital, one-day series against the Old Enemy in England, his emotions are clearly moved.

"That was pretty special, almost a sign of acceptance, really," Arthur says.

The news.com.au web site quoted him, as adding, "It made me feel really good, it was so nice, really nice to get that. It was almost acceptance."

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