January 29, 2001

Western Australia Coach-less for Global Tournament

Wayne Clark
Wayne Clark: From WACA to Yorkshire
Photo © WACA

The announcement at the WACA today that Wayne Clark would be stepping aside as coach of the Western Warriors has caught everyone by surprise. Even the WACA.

Coach of Western Australia for five years and a former state player, Test and one-day international representative for Australia, Clark announced that unless WA played in the Pura Cup final that his final match as coach would be the Warriors Pura Cup match against Victoria in Melbourne.

Clark is to be named as the replacement for outgoing Yorkshire coach Martyn Moxon tonight at a press conference in Yorkshire. Moxon joins Durham after a 20-year career with the northern club.

Joining outgoing Warriors Captain Tom Moody in relocation to the United Kingdom, Clark will arrive just in time for the start of Yorkshire's immanent 2001 campaign. Moody joins Worcestershire becoming Director of Cricket.

"I am going to finish my commitments here. Then, probably in early April I am going to be there (Yorkshire). It gives me three weeks." Clark said about missing Yorkshire's pre-season build up: "They have a pre-season in South Africa, and if things don't work out the way I want them to here, then maybe I will be over in South Africa."

Speaking about his reaction when Wayne Clark gave him the news, WACA CEO Mike Allenby said, "I was talking with Wayne and with Yorkshire over the last week and a bit, so it wasn't a real big surprise."

Allenby had been in close contact with Clark and officials from Yorkshire CCC during negotiations, but had not realised that Western Australia will be minus the coach going into the Global Tournament in late March/early April.

Clark confessed that he would, "probably not" have anything to do with the forthcoming Global Provincial Tournament. "It is something that has not been discussed," he said.

Allenby's reaction was one of surprise. When I asked him: "would the WACA be seeking a new coach immediately for the team that played in that tournament, and would a player be selected as coach of the team?" he said, "I just found out about it." Then turning to the almost Zen-like figure of Clark sitting relaxed beside him he repeated, "probably not."

Western Australia (1999-2000 Mercantile Mutual Cup champions) take on other champion one-day teams in the inaugural Global Provincial Tournament in late March and early April this year. Western Australia are hot favourites to win the 2000-01 Mercantile Mutual Cup further legitimising their place in the tournament. The other contestants in that competition will be Mumbai (winners of the Ranji Trophy in India), Central Districts (winners of New Zealand's Shell Cup), and the, as yet undecided, winners of South Africa's Standard Bank Cup.

Clark looks back on his tenure with Western Australia with pride: "I suppose one the things I've been very proud of is the resurgence of some of the players into the Australian side," he said. "To see the Martyns and the Langers and the Moodys and the Julians get back into the international scene after they were discarded. And the development of a lot of the younger players - the Katichs and the Husseys into very solid first-class performers, with the right attitude and approach to the game."

Back home for four or five months of every year Clark hopes that he will have some sort of involvement with Western Australian cricket. "I leave on happy terms, I will remain very happy because I am very happy to be involved with Western Australian cricket."

The WACA will advertise globally for Clark's replacement.