18 Mar 2013

Buchanan says bans will hurt Ashes hopes

11:17 am on 18 March 2013

The former Australian cricket coach John Buchanan says the homeworkgate affair has handed England a clear advantage for the Ashes series starting in July.

The Australian coach Mickey Arthur stood down four players including vice-captain Shane Watson for the third test against India in Mohali for failing to meet a deadline on a homework assignment relating to how to improve the side.

Buchanan told an English newspaper that Arthur has made a clear message but whether it's the right message or has been delivered correctly will show in time.

He says it could be a masterstroke or it could backfire if the issue continues to ferment and the coach will cop the blame if it goes wrong.

Buchanan, who guided Australia to Ashes and World Cup triumphs in 2007, says the recent retirements of Mike Hussey and Ricky Ponting have been damaging.

Buchanan backed Arthur's decision to call for a peer review following Australia's big losses in the first two tests of the four-match series against India.