Australian news May 3, 2011

Australia axe Mike Young as fielding coach

21

Mike Young, the former American baseballer, is believed to have been sacked as Australia's fielding coach. Cricket Australia has not confirmed the decision, which is thought to have been made before the implementation of the Don Argus-led review into Australia's performance.

Young travelled with the squad during the World Cup but did not join the players on last month's trip to Bangladesh. Wade Seccombe, the former Queensland wicketkeeper who has coached at the Centre of Excellence over the past year, was on hand in Dhaka as the fielding coach for the three one-day internationals in April.

A former minor-league baseball manager in the United States, Young was made Australia's fielding coach during the tenure of John Buchanan, and was often seen patrolling the boundary rope while the Australians were in the field.

He was involved with the Australian side for most of the past decade, and in 2009 also consulted for India. However, at times he has also returned to America, and during 2005 he managed a baseball team in Illinois.

Brydon Coverdale is an assistant editor at ESPNcricinfo

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • katandthat3 on May 5, 2011, 11:27 GMT

    Yep, CA making the big decisions. I guess I'd be too optimistic in seeing them sack themselves, Hilditch and Nielson. They have balls of marshmellows.

  • ygkd on May 5, 2011, 9:32 GMT

    I would rather listen to fingernails scraping across a blackboard than to Ian Healy in the commentary box, but one has to admit when he was behind the stumps the Oz fielding looked much sharper and thats not entirely a coincidence. I'd be interested in what Wade Seccombe can do as a coach, but I'd be happier if they gave someone like him the gloves.

  • on May 4, 2011, 14:21 GMT

    CA gave him the sack a few years ago, Australia's fielding went downhill and they learned their lesson and reappointed him. Is CA really that dumb? Some of their decisions just seriously lack in logic, while Australia's Batting/bowling was poor in the world cup our fielding seemed to be the only shining light with some good catches keeping us in a few games

  • DickCam on May 4, 2011, 12:50 GMT

    CA got rid of Lillee and the bowling went downhill, so they got Cooley and it got even worse. Mike Young will be snapped up by one of the sub-continent teams, no worries, while our fielding standards will fall to become the worst in world cricket. CA is a gravy train run by clueless old men. Maybe they'll finally get the message when home crowds drop off big time and no-one wants to host us because we have a crap team.

  • VivGilchrist on May 4, 2011, 12:49 GMT

    Of course! It's Mike Youngs fault. Ok, now that weve got rid of him we can get back to our winning ways. How was Hilditch and Nielsen supposed to do there respective jobs correctly with Mr Young in the way? Yahoo!... We'll be no1 again by the end of the year!

  • Meety on May 4, 2011, 5:20 GMT

    @Ken McCarron - the article says he has been employed most of the past decade. Oz fielding standards definately have dropped for a whole lot longer then the past couple of years. Our slip cordon has been in decline for almost a decade - Ian Chappell & Healy have of both said that. Gilly was dropping catches a lot at the end of his career, Haddin hasn't been as safe as I would hope for & the slip fielders have dropped way too many for too long - none of these trnds were rectified. The decision to bring Seccombe (one of Oz best w/k NEVER to play for Oz) to help is a masterstroke, because it is cricket specific. Young was only ever going to be good to freshen things up, not stay a decade!!!

  • on May 4, 2011, 2:57 GMT

    Some of the people on here don't know anything about cricket. Mike Young is a brilliant fielding coach who has only been used part time over the last couple of years when the fielding stnadards have dropped. To say that standards dropped in 2005 is ridiculous - more likely since about 2009 when Mike Young spent less time with the team. Mike Young was the one that lifted the team to new standards during John Buchanan's role. Stuart Clark an out and out fast bowler. Not even Stuey would agree with that!

  • Meety on May 4, 2011, 2:20 GMT

    @Andrew Gray - LOL re: one trick pony! Young was good with sharpening up those relay throws. Also, I doubt that Oz would hire a Bangladesh reject (Siddons)!!!! @Laurie99 - agree 100% re: the last line about Bobby Simpson. If he is too long in the tooth, (he must be 70 now), I'd ask Mark Waugh! (I think he was the BEST fielder I've ever seen - I know a lot of people would go Jonty, but Waugh was brilliant everywhere).

  • Meety on May 4, 2011, 2:14 GMT

    @popcorn - yes "...Employing him was brilliant,innovative and credit to John Buchanan..." - but he was passed his use by date about 4yrs ago. We need to improve our slip cordon, whilst Punter has been pretty good in the slips - he is not as great as other recent slippers. I think of the guys in the slips at the moment - only Watto strikes me as being anywhere near being what I would want. Pup is not a "natural" slipper but like Punter may improve. Who else? Katich is average (better at short leg like Hughes), none of our spin bolwers used in the last 12mths could field in the slips like Warne or Swann. Mike Hussey is good/great in the Gully. Cameron White is a good slipper - but I don't want him anywhere near the Test side until he scores 3 or 4 Shield centuries in 1 season. I think as a product of T20, slip fielding is being seen as a bit redundant as it is not overly used in the shortest format of the game!

  • popcorn on May 4, 2011, 1:08 GMT

    Mike Young has done a great job for Australia's felding. Employing him was brilliant,innovative and credit to John Buchanan. I think the golden handshake (I hate the word sacking - unless warranted)has come about after Greg Chappell and his Team went to the US to study the Coaching Methods.I predict some innovation in Australia's Coaching at the COE. Tim Nielsen is a good Coach, but not in the same Class as John Buchanan, who was terrific in raising the mental levels of the Aussies.

  • katandthat3 on May 5, 2011, 11:27 GMT

    Yep, CA making the big decisions. I guess I'd be too optimistic in seeing them sack themselves, Hilditch and Nielson. They have balls of marshmellows.

  • ygkd on May 5, 2011, 9:32 GMT

    I would rather listen to fingernails scraping across a blackboard than to Ian Healy in the commentary box, but one has to admit when he was behind the stumps the Oz fielding looked much sharper and thats not entirely a coincidence. I'd be interested in what Wade Seccombe can do as a coach, but I'd be happier if they gave someone like him the gloves.

  • on May 4, 2011, 14:21 GMT

    CA gave him the sack a few years ago, Australia's fielding went downhill and they learned their lesson and reappointed him. Is CA really that dumb? Some of their decisions just seriously lack in logic, while Australia's Batting/bowling was poor in the world cup our fielding seemed to be the only shining light with some good catches keeping us in a few games

  • DickCam on May 4, 2011, 12:50 GMT

    CA got rid of Lillee and the bowling went downhill, so they got Cooley and it got even worse. Mike Young will be snapped up by one of the sub-continent teams, no worries, while our fielding standards will fall to become the worst in world cricket. CA is a gravy train run by clueless old men. Maybe they'll finally get the message when home crowds drop off big time and no-one wants to host us because we have a crap team.

  • VivGilchrist on May 4, 2011, 12:49 GMT

    Of course! It's Mike Youngs fault. Ok, now that weve got rid of him we can get back to our winning ways. How was Hilditch and Nielsen supposed to do there respective jobs correctly with Mr Young in the way? Yahoo!... We'll be no1 again by the end of the year!

  • Meety on May 4, 2011, 5:20 GMT

    @Ken McCarron - the article says he has been employed most of the past decade. Oz fielding standards definately have dropped for a whole lot longer then the past couple of years. Our slip cordon has been in decline for almost a decade - Ian Chappell & Healy have of both said that. Gilly was dropping catches a lot at the end of his career, Haddin hasn't been as safe as I would hope for & the slip fielders have dropped way too many for too long - none of these trnds were rectified. The decision to bring Seccombe (one of Oz best w/k NEVER to play for Oz) to help is a masterstroke, because it is cricket specific. Young was only ever going to be good to freshen things up, not stay a decade!!!

  • on May 4, 2011, 2:57 GMT

    Some of the people on here don't know anything about cricket. Mike Young is a brilliant fielding coach who has only been used part time over the last couple of years when the fielding stnadards have dropped. To say that standards dropped in 2005 is ridiculous - more likely since about 2009 when Mike Young spent less time with the team. Mike Young was the one that lifted the team to new standards during John Buchanan's role. Stuart Clark an out and out fast bowler. Not even Stuey would agree with that!

  • Meety on May 4, 2011, 2:20 GMT

    @Andrew Gray - LOL re: one trick pony! Young was good with sharpening up those relay throws. Also, I doubt that Oz would hire a Bangladesh reject (Siddons)!!!! @Laurie99 - agree 100% re: the last line about Bobby Simpson. If he is too long in the tooth, (he must be 70 now), I'd ask Mark Waugh! (I think he was the BEST fielder I've ever seen - I know a lot of people would go Jonty, but Waugh was brilliant everywhere).

  • Meety on May 4, 2011, 2:14 GMT

    @popcorn - yes "...Employing him was brilliant,innovative and credit to John Buchanan..." - but he was passed his use by date about 4yrs ago. We need to improve our slip cordon, whilst Punter has been pretty good in the slips - he is not as great as other recent slippers. I think of the guys in the slips at the moment - only Watto strikes me as being anywhere near being what I would want. Pup is not a "natural" slipper but like Punter may improve. Who else? Katich is average (better at short leg like Hughes), none of our spin bolwers used in the last 12mths could field in the slips like Warne or Swann. Mike Hussey is good/great in the Gully. Cameron White is a good slipper - but I don't want him anywhere near the Test side until he scores 3 or 4 Shield centuries in 1 season. I think as a product of T20, slip fielding is being seen as a bit redundant as it is not overly used in the shortest format of the game!

  • popcorn on May 4, 2011, 1:08 GMT

    Mike Young has done a great job for Australia's felding. Employing him was brilliant,innovative and credit to John Buchanan. I think the golden handshake (I hate the word sacking - unless warranted)has come about after Greg Chappell and his Team went to the US to study the Coaching Methods.I predict some innovation in Australia's Coaching at the COE. Tim Nielsen is a good Coach, but not in the same Class as John Buchanan, who was terrific in raising the mental levels of the Aussies.

  • Meety on May 4, 2011, 0:08 GMT

    @ StraightHit - mate, I don't agree re: age & fielding. Our slip cordon was once just about the best ever, when Tubby & M Waugh were 1st & 2nd slip. You don't need to be young to be a good slipper, AB was great in his later years in the slips. Also Stuey was never out & out quick. He was slower then Dizzy at about McGrath pace. Also NSW has a 17yo bowling @145k+ who just made his 1st class debut, there are other pacers coming thru, that I'm not too worried about. Spin is a concern, but our two most credentialled 1st class spinners (O'Keefe & Hauritz) were not used in the Ashes. Also, I still believe that Cullen Bailey could be a success at International level if given a go. That all being said I know where you're coming from re: sacking the fielding coach first. I'd been wanting him sacked about 2yrs ago though!

  • bobagorof on May 3, 2011, 23:42 GMT

    Assuming this is actually true (CA has not yet confirmed), then I am a bit surprised. It's true that Australia's fielding standards have dropped over the past few years, but they have also had a change in personnel. The standards started dropping around 2005. Whatever the cause, it needs to be arrested quickly as high fielding standards have been a hallmark of Australian sides. If that requires a fresh fielding coach, or just a focus on fielding skills during training, then so be it.

  • Laurie99 on May 3, 2011, 23:39 GMT

    I'm with @straighthit, the team are older and so the fielding can't be as good as it was. Even the Captain has a dodgy back! It is a bit rough for the fielding coach to be sacked after doing a great job over all those years and I can't help thinking it is the board protecting their decision to rehire Neilson who has not demonstrated (it would appear) the type of focus on the base level skills that is required these days. There are many factors that have led to the poor fielding in the Austraiian team (lower Sheffield Shield standards in fielding and skills, the increased age profile of the team, instability of elections etc.) and to blame one person who only has partial control over what he has to work with is not a good look. Bring back Bobby Simpson I say and let the players understand what real professionalism is.

  • Something_Witty on May 3, 2011, 15:21 GMT

    Oh yes, forgot about Nielsen, he's got to go as well, but there's not much hope of that is there? Good ol' Teflon Tim.

  • CricketChat on May 3, 2011, 12:31 GMT

    With few Aus players nearing or over 30 yrs, it is only natural the fielding will not be as sharp as it was a few years ago. However, that is nor the real problem for their declining fortunes, it is the skill level. True out and out fast bowlers (Lee, Clark, Tait) are gone. No spin bowler in sight who can win a match on his own since Warne. Ageing batting line up (Katich, Ponting, Hussey). And the poor fielding coach is shown the door first!. Wake up CA!. Know where your real problems are before you loose lot of fan base!.

  • on May 3, 2011, 11:57 GMT

    @Fazbut - "...a new captain who hates the old one being in the team,.." - mate I think you're making that one up! LOL! @ SeaforthA1 -no,no,no no! Young is a one-trick pony. He was very good for teaching the boys how to relay throw etc. In Young's years Oz fielding has declined significantly - particularly in the slip cordon. Why? What would a Yank know about slip-fielding? I watched Oz do some fielding drills a few months ago - they all were wearing baseball gloves! He problem should be hired for a 5-day intense series of training sessions & then told to come back next year! @Something_Witty - I'd say the head coach needs to go! Jamie Siddons hasn't got a gig at the moment..... @boris6491 - agree 300%! Anyways - I like the Seccombe selection. A big factor in fielding is the "chirp" that comes from a Keeper. Seccombe was pretty chirpy - so hopefully this can lead to a return to better fielding standards!

  • boris6491 on May 3, 2011, 10:29 GMT

    A very interesting albeit quite unexpected development. I'm not pointing fingers, but Australian fielding standards have been very evidently going down and perhaps this may be a response to that. Hopefully, it is for the best.

  • MrKricket on May 3, 2011, 10:09 GMT

    Next on the list: Nielsen!

  • Something_Witty on May 3, 2011, 9:51 GMT

    Probably a good idea to get someone new into the fielding side of things. Given how many catches were dropped during the Ashes... Only the batting coach and bowling coach now need be replaced. lol.

  • _Australian_ on May 3, 2011, 9:48 GMT

    Shame. He has been excellent for Australian cricket. But I suppose a fresh approach can't hurt.

  • Fazbut on May 3, 2011, 9:19 GMT

    They sasck the...FIELDING coach. We're stuck with Tim Nielsen for another three years, a new captain who hates the old one being in the team, and old timers Katich and Hussey - but they sack....the FIELDING coach. Incredible.

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  • Fazbut on May 3, 2011, 9:19 GMT

    They sasck the...FIELDING coach. We're stuck with Tim Nielsen for another three years, a new captain who hates the old one being in the team, and old timers Katich and Hussey - but they sack....the FIELDING coach. Incredible.

  • _Australian_ on May 3, 2011, 9:48 GMT

    Shame. He has been excellent for Australian cricket. But I suppose a fresh approach can't hurt.

  • Something_Witty on May 3, 2011, 9:51 GMT

    Probably a good idea to get someone new into the fielding side of things. Given how many catches were dropped during the Ashes... Only the batting coach and bowling coach now need be replaced. lol.

  • MrKricket on May 3, 2011, 10:09 GMT

    Next on the list: Nielsen!

  • boris6491 on May 3, 2011, 10:29 GMT

    A very interesting albeit quite unexpected development. I'm not pointing fingers, but Australian fielding standards have been very evidently going down and perhaps this may be a response to that. Hopefully, it is for the best.

  • on May 3, 2011, 11:57 GMT

    @Fazbut - "...a new captain who hates the old one being in the team,.." - mate I think you're making that one up! LOL! @ SeaforthA1 -no,no,no no! Young is a one-trick pony. He was very good for teaching the boys how to relay throw etc. In Young's years Oz fielding has declined significantly - particularly in the slip cordon. Why? What would a Yank know about slip-fielding? I watched Oz do some fielding drills a few months ago - they all were wearing baseball gloves! He problem should be hired for a 5-day intense series of training sessions & then told to come back next year! @Something_Witty - I'd say the head coach needs to go! Jamie Siddons hasn't got a gig at the moment..... @boris6491 - agree 300%! Anyways - I like the Seccombe selection. A big factor in fielding is the "chirp" that comes from a Keeper. Seccombe was pretty chirpy - so hopefully this can lead to a return to better fielding standards!

  • CricketChat on May 3, 2011, 12:31 GMT

    With few Aus players nearing or over 30 yrs, it is only natural the fielding will not be as sharp as it was a few years ago. However, that is nor the real problem for their declining fortunes, it is the skill level. True out and out fast bowlers (Lee, Clark, Tait) are gone. No spin bowler in sight who can win a match on his own since Warne. Ageing batting line up (Katich, Ponting, Hussey). And the poor fielding coach is shown the door first!. Wake up CA!. Know where your real problems are before you loose lot of fan base!.

  • Something_Witty on May 3, 2011, 15:21 GMT

    Oh yes, forgot about Nielsen, he's got to go as well, but there's not much hope of that is there? Good ol' Teflon Tim.

  • Laurie99 on May 3, 2011, 23:39 GMT

    I'm with @straighthit, the team are older and so the fielding can't be as good as it was. Even the Captain has a dodgy back! It is a bit rough for the fielding coach to be sacked after doing a great job over all those years and I can't help thinking it is the board protecting their decision to rehire Neilson who has not demonstrated (it would appear) the type of focus on the base level skills that is required these days. There are many factors that have led to the poor fielding in the Austraiian team (lower Sheffield Shield standards in fielding and skills, the increased age profile of the team, instability of elections etc.) and to blame one person who only has partial control over what he has to work with is not a good look. Bring back Bobby Simpson I say and let the players understand what real professionalism is.

  • bobagorof on May 3, 2011, 23:42 GMT

    Assuming this is actually true (CA has not yet confirmed), then I am a bit surprised. It's true that Australia's fielding standards have dropped over the past few years, but they have also had a change in personnel. The standards started dropping around 2005. Whatever the cause, it needs to be arrested quickly as high fielding standards have been a hallmark of Australian sides. If that requires a fresh fielding coach, or just a focus on fielding skills during training, then so be it.