Australia news December 14, 2010

Sorell walks out as South Australia coach

ESPNcricinfo staff

Mark Sorell has become the second state coach in a week to step down after being told his contract with South Australia would not be extended at the end of the season. The move comes as Darren Lehmann, the former Redbacks captain, has agreed to link with Queensland for the Big Bash after Trevor Barsby's sudden exit last Wednesday.

The flurry of in-season movement is extremely unusual in Australia and while Barsby was the victim of player power, Sorell's time ran out to lift the perennially underperforming South Australia. The SACA board decided on Monday night that Sorell's fourth season in charge would be his last.

Jamie Cox, South Australia's director of cricket, told Sorell, 45, the news on Tuesday morning. "He has consequently stepped down as coach of the Redbacks, effective immediately," Cox said. Jeff Vaughan, the assistant, will take over for South Australia's one-day and Sheffield Shield games against Victoria this week.

"I would like to make it very clear that this outcome was initiated by management and the board and not by the playing group," Cox said. "The players have, however, been consulted and understand the reasons for the decision."

In Queensland, Lehmann will start coaching the Twenty20 side next week to prepare for its opening match against Victoria on January 2. Lehmann, who looks after the Deccan Chargers in the IPL, steps in at a difficult time for the Bulls after Barsby's departure.

Graham Dixon, Queensland's chief executive, said Lehmann would provide the side with an experienced Twenty20 hand. "Darren's earned a reputation as an innovative coach in the IPL and with his extensive international playing and coaching experience, we are confident he will further assist the development of our promising young squad," Dixon said. Justin Sternes will look after the Bulls in the Shield and one-day competitions for the rest of the season.