Short-term solution found for Mark Sorrell's replacement

Fitzpatrick appointed acting Australia coach

Jenny Thompson

May 9, 2007

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Cathryn Fitzpatrick has been appointed acting head coach for Australia © Getty Images
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It is hardly a surprise that Cathryn Fitzpatrick has been appointed as Australia's acting head coach. Fitzpatrick, the former fast bowler, is perfectly placed to coach the side she retired from two months ago, bringing a wealth of playing experience and coaching nous to boot.

Fitzpatrick, who is a Level Three coach, will of course be a strong candidate, too, when the full-time Australia role is advertised soon. Further to her 16 years at the top of the international game, she recently completed a coaching scholarship at the Cricket Australia Centre of Excellence in Brisbane.

Her short-term responsibilities are to oversee the four-day training camp in Brisbane which starts on 8 June ahead of the New Zealand series on 19 July. This could rule out any interest she had in the England's head coach vacancy, to which she has also been linked, as the ECB is keen to have someone in place by mid-July. Indeed, even though Fitzpatrick registered her interest in the job, she has yet to lodge an application - and time is running out, with a deadline of May 15.

The Australia job is likely to be a more attractive option for her anyway, with the opportunity to work alongside her former team-mates, and it would be less of an upheaval than heading to the UK. In the meantime, her focus is on the job in hand, with the five-match Rose Bowl series in Darwin and a Twenty20 international.

"I'm looking forward to the responsibility of preparing the team for what will be a tough series against New Zealand in July," she said. "My main goal will be to prepare the team so it can maintain the high level of performance that delivered success in India earlier this year."

Fitzpatrick was, of course, part of that success. And now, with the chance to move straight into the coaching role, the timing could be perfect. The news of her short-term appointment follows Cricket Australia's announcement on Wednesday that Mark Sorrell was leaving to coach South Australia's men.

Jenny Thompson is assistant editor of Cricinfo

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© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.

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