Cooley named Australia's Centre of Excellence coach
Australia will be on the lookout for a new fast-bowling coach after Troy Cooley was named as the new head coach at the Centre of Excellence in Brisbane. But Cricket Australia insists the appointment will not affect the team's Ashes and World Cup preparations, as Cooley will continue to work with the bowlers during those campaigns.
He will replace the former Centre of Excellence mentor Greg Chappell, who has taken on a new role as Australia's national talent manager. Cooley is set to juggle his two jobs for the next few months and Michael Brown, CA's general manager of cricket, said the national team would not be left without a bowling coach during that period.
"We have some very important cricket coming up," Brown said, "and CA has developed a transition plan that will see Troy continue to support the Australian men's team throughout the Vodafone Ashes Test series and ICC Cricket World Cup campaign."
Cooley, 44, made his name as England's fast-bowling coach during the 2005 Ashes, when he was credited with helping Andrew Flintoff and his colleagues master reverse swing and confound the Australian batsmen. The following year, Cooley, a former Tasmania fast bowler, was snapped up by the Australian team.
Although Australia's fast men didn't achieve the same results during the 2009 campaign, Cooley was regarded highly enough that he filled in for Tim Nielsen as the team's head coach during the ODIs that followed. He will eventually have at his disposal a newly refurbished Centre of Excellence, after a A$26 million upgrade was announced earlier this year.
"There is no doubting the importance of the Centre of Excellence in the cricketing pathway," Cooley said. "When I first arrived at the Cricket Academy, as it was then called, in 2000, Rod Marsh was the head coach and helped to develop players such as Michael Clarke, Shane Watson, Mitchell Johnson and Nathan Hauritz.
"These players are now playing an integral role in the Australian team hopefully securing the Border-Gavaskar Trophy in India, reclaiming the Ashes and defending the ICC Cricket World Cup. It is extremely exciting to lead the Centre of Excellence's coaching team and to be working closely with the states, territories and Australian Institute of Sport as we look to continue our important role in providing support for the current and next generation of Australian cricketers."
Cricket Australia has not set a timeline to find Cooley's replacement as fast-bowling coach, although there is no immediate hurry with Cooley staying on for the time being. During his playing career, Cooley took 54 wickets in 33 first-class appearances for Tasmania.
Brydon Coverdale is an assistant editor at Cricinfo