Australia news December 22, 2011

Rod Marsh to coach the coaches

Rod Marsh, the Australia selector, will "coach the coaches" in a newly created Cricket Australia role designed to ensure a unified approach to mentoring players across the states.

In a mild divergence from the Argus review, Marsh will have the oversight originally intended for the head coach, Mickey Arthur.

However the duo will work closely on the formulation of strategies to ensure that players emerge through the states with messages about their development that are consistent with those of the national team.

"I've basically taken one page out from the Argus review in terms of the national coaching system, effectively to say we need to make sure our coaching pathway, or accreditation, and how the coaching philosophy and how it is drilled out throughout the country, is done well," Pat Howard, the team performance manager, told ESPNcricinfo.

"Part of that involves someone that could engage former players and mentoring capacities and where appropriate coaching capacities. There weren't many blokes I could think of that could do that better than Rod Marsh. His ability to engage with players at all levels is pretty high."

Marsh's role will also allow him to call in consultants from far and wide when needed, as befits a man with one of the deepest contact books in world cricket. He will work closely with the Centre of Excellence, the subject of much criticism from the states in the interviews that led to the Argus review.

"He's verymuch engaged with trying to connect that, working with Troy Cooley who he's worked with before at the England academy," Howard said. "He will work closely with Mickey, he will work closely with Troy Cooley, and hopefully supplementing that his coaching guys with those former players."

The coaching overseer's position follows on from similar roles Marsh held at the Cricket Academy in Australia in the 1990s, then with England from 2002-05 and more recently with the ICC global academy in Dubai.

"I'm looking forward to this role and believe that it will be a nice fit with my position on the National Selection Panel," Marsh said. "I've been coaching cricket for more than 20 years and this is a great opportunity to work with the elite coaches around the country.

"It's important that we develop our coaches as well as our players and this role will include developing a clear coaching pathway from junior teams, to representative teams, right through to the national team level."

Daniel Brettig is an assistant editor at ESPNcricinfo