Australian news May 9, 2011

Australia whittle down bowling coach options

ESPNcricinfo staff

Australia's new bowling coach is expected to be named this week, with Craig McDermott and Allister de Winter among the leading contenders. The former Test fast men Jason Gillespie and Andy Bichel have already been eliminated in the race to become Troy Cooley's replacement, while at least one high-profile overseas candidate is still in contention.

McDermott, 46, has been coaching at the Centre of Excellence in Brisbane for two years and appeared to be the front-runner when he went on last month's tour of Bangladesh with Michael Clarke's side. However, de Winter, the former Tasmania allrounder, has also made it through the first round of interviews and could be a surprise appointment.

A fringe player during his seven seasons with Tasmania during the late 1980s and early 1990s, de Winter took 35 wickets in 21 first-class appearances at an average of 50.51. It is a far cry from the 291 Test victims collected by McDermott, but it's a similar record to Cooley, a former team-mate of de Winter at Tasmania, who took 54 first-class wickets in 33 games.

de Winter, 43, joined Tasmania as an assistant coach in 2007, after returning from Bangladesh, where he was head coach of the National Cricket Academy and the Bangladesh Under-19s. He has also toured with the Australia side, joining them in South Africa in 2009 as part of Cricket Australia's coaching development programme.

Last summer, de Winter guided a Tasmanian bowling attack that was instrumental in securing the state's second Sheffield Shield title, utilising swing and seam on helpful pitches. The new mentor will play a key role in guiding Australia's bowlers on their next Test tour, a planned visit to Sri Lanka later this year, before the trip to South Africa in October and November.