'I just felt the timing wasn't right' January 28, 2007

Moody out of contention for Australia role

Cricinfo staff

Tom Moody: "Sri Lanka is my main focus" © Getty Images

Tom Moody has pulled out of the race to become Australia's next coach, leaving Tim Nielsen as the leading candidate. Moody, the current Sri Lanka coach, said he was not ready to return to Australia.

"I just felt the timing wasn't right," Moody told the Sunday Mail. "I had to think long and hard about it but from a personal point of view it wasn't right and I wanted to let Cricket Australia know as soon as possible.

"Sri Lanka is my main focus and this had started to become a bit of a distraction to myself and the team which is the last thing it needs in the countdown to the World Cup. It was a bit unfair on the team and my employers because my focus at the moment has to be on preparing the side for the World Cup."

Moody, who was interviewed in Cricket Australia's search to replace John Buchanan, denied suggestions that Australia had pressured him to accept the job before the World Cup. ''That was not the case," he said. "They understood my position and if I or anyone else from another nation had been appointed they would have made an announcement after the World Cup."

Moody said he was still undecided about his future. ''I may stay on with Sri Lanka or it could be somewhere else domestically or internationally," he said. Moody has been mentioned as a potential replacement for Duncan Fletcher, the England coach, should he resign. There was speculation that because Moody's wife is English he could be holding out for that job rather than the Australia position. "That doesn't mean I am any more likely to take a job in England than I am in Australia just because I am Australian," Moody said.

Nielsen, the former South Australia wicketkeeper who is now the Australian Centre of Excellence head coach, looms as the frontrunner to become Australia's coach in the wake of Moody's withdrawal. Buchanan's eight-year term is due to expire after the World Cup.