Fallout over planned role November 23, 2004

Lillee leaves Australian Academy

Wisden Cricinfo staff
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Dennis Lillee has left the Australian cricket academy © Getty Images
Dennis Lillee has left his coaching post in Australia after a fallout with Australia cricket authorities, according to Sydney's Daily Telegraph.

Lillee, 55, who has helped shape the careers of many bowlers, including such established stars as Brett Lee and Glenn McGrath, had been involved with developing and coaching players for Australia for 15 years.

"They didn't want me to do the states, so I would have no contact with the ones who really need the help, the under-17s and -19s," he told the Daily Telegraph newspaper. "They wanted me to focus on the academy and the Test players, and wanted to cut my days down from 30 to 15 per year and for me to take a discount on my daily rate.

"I am disappointed from the point of view that I felt the work I was doing there was bearing fruit. I loved what I did there. I wrote to them and said 'nothing goes down' and I am not at all happy. But life moves on and I have got plenty to do."

Cricket Australia has advertised for the post at their Academy, and there are a number of coaches who learned their trade in Australia, but have gone elsewhere, such as Bennett King, who recently took over as West Indies chief coach. Others include Steve Rixon who is at Surrey, John Dyson, Sri Lanka's coach, and Rod Marsh, who is head coach at England's academy based in Loughborough.

In the meantime, however, it is likely that Damien Fleming, the former swing bowler who retired 17 months ago and who shared some of Lillee's duties, will take over in the interim.