Phillips quits as South Australia coach
Wayne Phillips, the South Australia coach, has resigned after a poor season from the Redbacks. Phillips came under pressure as the summer progressed and the chances of South Australia ending the Pura Cup winless increased.
The Redbacks finally broke through for a victory in their last match but it came too late to save Phillips, the former Australia wicketkeeper-batsman. Mike Deare, the South Australian Cricket Association chief executive, said the move was in the best interests of the team and they hoped to appoint a replacement by mid-May.
Phillips, who spent four years as coach, said it was a tough decision. "It has been a tremendously difficult year and it is unfortunate that we were not able to bring the success we all would have liked," he said. "I feel the time is right for another person to take over the coaching reins."
The state drew few positives from 2006-07, as they finished last on the Pura Cup table by a considerable margin. Their batsmen made only three Pura Cup centuries for the summer - most of the other states had nine or more - and the top-order was the root of many of their problems.
Matthew Elliott, Daniel Harris and Callum Ferguson had horror seasons. Darren Lehmann and Mark Cosgrove were well below their best. Nathan Adcock showed good signs when he finally came into the side, as did Jason Borgas, the gritty opener who fell just short of triple-figures on a couple of occasions.
His brother, Cameron Borgas, had done little when he had a shoulder reconstruction that ended his season. Shane Deitz was the Redbacks' most consistent scorer but at No. 7 his chances were limited. Jason Gillespie and Shaun Tait were always dangerous with the ball and Cullen Bailey's development continued but Dan Cullen's poor season was a concern.
The Redbacks fared better in the Ford Ranger Cup - where batting for long periods is not a requirement - and won five of their ten games. However, their leadership remained an issue and when Lehmann spent a month on the sidelines with a hamstring injury they could not settle on one stand-in captain.
Graham Manou took charge in the one-dayers but could not get a game in the Pura Cup. Elliott led in the longer form before he too was out of the side by the end of the season. Questions were also raised over the players' off-field behaviour and the senior players Gillespie and Greg Blewett were highly critical of the SACA during 2006-07.