Australia news May 11, 2012

McDermott steps down as Australia bowling coach

ESPNcricinfo staff
  shares 62

Craig McDermott has decided to step down from his post as Australia bowling coach. McDermott, who has been in the role for a year, said in a Cricket Australia release that his decision was prompted by the team's busy schedule in coming months.

"It has been a very difficult decision to leave my position as the bowling coach of the Australian cricket team, a job I have thoroughly enjoyed since beginning 12 months ago," McDermott said. "However the team's schedule is a particularly busy one and after looking at the upcoming touring demands, I felt this to be the right decision from a personal and professional point of view.

"It has been a great honour to work with our most exciting bowlers over this period. The progression of particular players and the improvement of depth in Australian bowling stocks has been the result of much hard work from both sides and is something I am particularly proud of."

McDermott did not rule out working with the national team in the future and said he will continue to work with bowlers at Australia's Centre of Excellence. "While I have agreed to provide input through Cricket Australia's Centre of Excellence, I am looking to continue my coaching career in a context that allows me further flexibility and will be looking to explore a range of options. I am certainly not ruling out being involved with the Australian cricket team in the future should that fit within the team's requirements."

In the year since McDermott took the job, promising young fast-bowling prospects James Pattinson and Pat Cummins have come into national contention, and McDermott is widely accepted to have a played a vital role in their emergence. Australia coach Mickey Arthur said considering the fine job McDermott had done, he would not be easy to replace. "Without doubt he will be very difficult to replace. As the Australian public and cricket world has seen, Craig has taken our fast bowlers to another level.

"However we completely understand and respect Craig's decision. The international schedule is a particularly busy one and family must always come first."

In the next year, apart from the World Twenty and the Champions Trophy, Australia have away series against England, Pakistan and India, and host South Africa, Sri Lanka and West Indies, culminating in the 2013 Ashes.

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • POSTED BY Adoh on | May 14, 2012, 11:18 GMT

    I'd resign too if I was told Mitchell Johnson was selected.

  • POSTED BY Meety on | May 14, 2012, 0:26 GMT

    @Behind_the_bowlers_arm - re: part time, that's what I reckon too. I would of thought it would be easy to have someone tour with the squad & report back to Billy. Thought there could be a better fit with more exposure to the current test team. @RightArmEverything - agreed, Hilfy did a lot of state work, Siddle improved his fitness, Starc has (briefly) worked with Akram. That being said, I think where McDermott really excelled was with Patto & Siddle. There seemed to be a "Victorian" method of back of a length bowling (worked domestically), that needed to be completely overhauled for International cricket.

  • POSTED BY elsieb66 on | May 13, 2012, 14:03 GMT

    Well, if the bowling coach can't hack the schedule, what's it like for the players? I don't see them quitting after a year. And it's not like he didn't know what the schedule would be. Pretty lame, Billy. And a great shame to boot. He did some fantastic work.

  • POSTED BY on | May 13, 2012, 11:27 GMT

    @hhillbumper Thanks, but we've been able to bowl out Sri Lanka for nearly a year now. Better still, how to do it twice in a row.

  • POSTED BY Behind_the_bowlers_arm on | May 13, 2012, 6:37 GMT

    Really hhillbumper? Then why have you employed David Saker & Troy Cooley? I'd presume Saker will be one of the ones considered if he was interested in coming home. My view is that bowlers should take more responsibility for their own performance including analysis of opposition batsmen & bowling strategies and the bowling coach position could be more of a part time role maybe pre-tour rather than have to follow the team around for weeks & months on end.

  • POSTED BY RightArmEverything on | May 13, 2012, 5:01 GMT

    While McDermott has obviously been a positive influence on the Aussie fast bowlers, I think some posters here are over-reacting. Surely Australia's bowlers themselves should get some of the credit for their improvement? Hilfenhaus obviously did a lot of work to improve his bowling for Tasmania before getting selected again, before he even started working with McDermott. And surely there's no reason why international cricketers aren't capable of applying what they've learned from McDermott to the post-McDermott performances?

  • POSTED BY hhillbumper on | May 12, 2012, 21:29 GMT

    We have some good bowling coaches if you want.Only fair given the next round of bowling lessons you will get from England.

  • POSTED BY RJHB on | May 12, 2012, 9:46 GMT

    Very disappointing Billy, and I don't believe the reason given is genuine at all. But well done anyway, lets hope whoever replaces you can do just as good a job. I agree with some posters though, CA should be doing everything they can to get Wasim Akram. What an absolute gun this gentleman of the game would be for Australian cricket. It'd be goodnight England and India for sure!

  • POSTED BY msnsrinivas on | May 12, 2012, 7:22 GMT

    Looks like CA have just handed over the tour schedule to McDermott

  • POSTED BY _Australian_ on | May 12, 2012, 3:18 GMT

    Such a shame. If possible CA should do what ever they can to get Wasim Akram.

  • POSTED BY Adoh on | May 14, 2012, 11:18 GMT

    I'd resign too if I was told Mitchell Johnson was selected.

  • POSTED BY Meety on | May 14, 2012, 0:26 GMT

    @Behind_the_bowlers_arm - re: part time, that's what I reckon too. I would of thought it would be easy to have someone tour with the squad & report back to Billy. Thought there could be a better fit with more exposure to the current test team. @RightArmEverything - agreed, Hilfy did a lot of state work, Siddle improved his fitness, Starc has (briefly) worked with Akram. That being said, I think where McDermott really excelled was with Patto & Siddle. There seemed to be a "Victorian" method of back of a length bowling (worked domestically), that needed to be completely overhauled for International cricket.

  • POSTED BY elsieb66 on | May 13, 2012, 14:03 GMT

    Well, if the bowling coach can't hack the schedule, what's it like for the players? I don't see them quitting after a year. And it's not like he didn't know what the schedule would be. Pretty lame, Billy. And a great shame to boot. He did some fantastic work.

  • POSTED BY on | May 13, 2012, 11:27 GMT

    @hhillbumper Thanks, but we've been able to bowl out Sri Lanka for nearly a year now. Better still, how to do it twice in a row.

  • POSTED BY Behind_the_bowlers_arm on | May 13, 2012, 6:37 GMT

    Really hhillbumper? Then why have you employed David Saker & Troy Cooley? I'd presume Saker will be one of the ones considered if he was interested in coming home. My view is that bowlers should take more responsibility for their own performance including analysis of opposition batsmen & bowling strategies and the bowling coach position could be more of a part time role maybe pre-tour rather than have to follow the team around for weeks & months on end.

  • POSTED BY RightArmEverything on | May 13, 2012, 5:01 GMT

    While McDermott has obviously been a positive influence on the Aussie fast bowlers, I think some posters here are over-reacting. Surely Australia's bowlers themselves should get some of the credit for their improvement? Hilfenhaus obviously did a lot of work to improve his bowling for Tasmania before getting selected again, before he even started working with McDermott. And surely there's no reason why international cricketers aren't capable of applying what they've learned from McDermott to the post-McDermott performances?

  • POSTED BY hhillbumper on | May 12, 2012, 21:29 GMT

    We have some good bowling coaches if you want.Only fair given the next round of bowling lessons you will get from England.

  • POSTED BY RJHB on | May 12, 2012, 9:46 GMT

    Very disappointing Billy, and I don't believe the reason given is genuine at all. But well done anyway, lets hope whoever replaces you can do just as good a job. I agree with some posters though, CA should be doing everything they can to get Wasim Akram. What an absolute gun this gentleman of the game would be for Australian cricket. It'd be goodnight England and India for sure!

  • POSTED BY msnsrinivas on | May 12, 2012, 7:22 GMT

    Looks like CA have just handed over the tour schedule to McDermott

  • POSTED BY _Australian_ on | May 12, 2012, 3:18 GMT

    Such a shame. If possible CA should do what ever they can to get Wasim Akram.

  • POSTED BY Stymie on | May 12, 2012, 3:14 GMT

    Let's wait and see if McDermott takes up an overseas post! Agreed Hilfy gained a lot back in the domestic competition, but it is not mere coincidence that the Aussie quicks blossomed this last year. Whilst Clarke is providing inspiration, Australia need someone proficient to carry on McDermott's good work.

  • POSTED BY on | May 12, 2012, 2:32 GMT

    Opps, this is bad. Billy has done a great job. Not sure who will replace him.

  • POSTED BY tearawayquick on | May 12, 2012, 2:01 GMT

    Didn't he know that international cricketing schedule is very demanding before he took uo the job!!!He was known to be a poor traveller during his playings days..Wonder why he was given the job in the 1st place.. You dont need a bowling coachto tell you to pitch the ball up and keep it outside off...

    Who had coached the likes of Marshall,Roberts,Holding,Lillee and Wasim Akram...?

  • POSTED BY Mitcher on | May 11, 2012, 22:56 GMT

    @Scrop: Bowlers did pretty well outside Australian conditions in Sri Lanka and South Africa when Billy was in charge.

  • POSTED BY doesitmatter on | May 11, 2012, 15:38 GMT

    i dont understand why it is a big loss..he was supposed to have asked the aussie bowlers to pitch it up on a good length..so keep that in mind and pitch it up..Hope he does not go back and start making videos wink wink :)

  • POSTED BY RyanHarrisGreatCricketer on | May 11, 2012, 15:23 GMT

    Craig McDermott did enough in his stint to have a long term impact on the aussie bowling unit as a whole by simply asking them 2 bowl full and straight so the newcomer just needs to be a former TEST player from ANY country who can mainly act as a mentor in tough times and sort out individual problems He just needs to act in the way a guide helps a tourist and anyway craig is working wid youngsters in der formative years

  • POSTED BY Trickstar on | May 11, 2012, 14:36 GMT

    Like he wouldn't of known the teams full playing schedule before he got he job, very strange.

  • POSTED BY popcorn on | May 11, 2012, 14:30 GMT

    The timing doesnt sound right. Australia have only 8 ODIs in Engand in June - July, then a LONG Break till summer starts with the South African Tour of Australia.So Craig McDermott could fulfilhis family commitments as well as get our bowlers tuned up to welcome the Saffers and for the India Tour that follows.I hope CA can prevail upon him to continue.

  • POSTED BY maddinson on | May 11, 2012, 13:46 GMT

    yes, Tasmania's bowling coach was responsible for the Hilfy's comeback

  • POSTED BY jmcilhinney on | May 11, 2012, 13:06 GMT

    @zenboomerang on (May 11 2012, 08:49 AM GMT), very good points.

  • POSTED BY Scrop on | May 11, 2012, 12:07 GMT

    McDermott is not confident of his bowlers doing good work outside Australian conditions I guess, particularly against India in India. He wants to leave on the high.

    All the best McDermott !!!

  • POSTED BY Simoc on | May 11, 2012, 11:13 GMT

    McDermotts done his job. The guys got the message. If they drop short again, like Siddle always bowled previously, they won't be in the team. And you can be sure he'll let them know unofficially if they deviate off track.

  • POSTED BY on | May 11, 2012, 11:12 GMT

    @jmcilhinney: Ben Hilfenhaus's revival was more because of Ali de Winter's work with him last winter down at Tassie. Hilfenhaus was back with the late swing mid-way through the Shield season and had a couple of good spells in the BBL after which he was selected for the series against India. He got a 5-fer 1st game back so I don't think McDermott had much influence on him. More impact on players like Pattinson and Siddle I believe. I saw twitterati recommending Ali de Winter's name to fill the spot now.

  • POSTED BY Meety on | May 11, 2012, 10:27 GMT

    @StreetHawk - I reckon there may be a hint of truth in that for sure! @jmcilhinney - I think the Tassie coaching staff should get a lot of credit there.

  • POSTED BY Green_and_Gold on | May 11, 2012, 10:12 GMT

    What a shame for the national side - i think its quite clear the impact he has had on our bowlers. I hope he continues to impart his knowledge to the younger generation in his new role. Now we just need to get Mitch to spend some time at the CoE.

  • POSTED BY jmcilhinney on | May 11, 2012, 10:02 GMT

    Maybe now would be a good time to get rid of Justin Langer as the batting coach too.

  • POSTED BY anshu.s on | May 11, 2012, 9:53 GMT

    I am tempted to go along with @ Kaushik Ganguly that it might have to do with his son,but he did a fantastic job with his emphasis on pitching the ball up and swinging it and mixing up your lengths.Wish him all the best.

  • POSTED BY zenboomerang on | May 11, 2012, 9:53 GMT

    Anyone thinking Craig changed Hilfenhaus's bowling are kidding - knee tendinitis was his major problem 2 summers ago (yet leading Oz wkt taker against Eng) - it was George Bailey that led to Hilfys improved bowling by getting him to use the crease with slight variations in width to change his angles & is just one reason why Bailey should be more involved with the Oz team - great reader of the game & his players...

  • POSTED BY zenboomerang on | May 11, 2012, 9:49 GMT

    @jmcilhinney :- "there's no up-side to this decision"... His role at the CoE will be cructial for a number of young & upcoming bowlers - correcting any problems while they are young is much easier & will only benefit our future stocks... Also he isn't leaving the Oz cricket scene, just changing roles - he will still be available to all CA bowlers at one level or another...

  • POSTED BY Sunil_Batra on | May 11, 2012, 9:28 GMT

    Wishing Mcdermott's family all the best at this tough time, this is a sad loss for cricket in general.

  • POSTED BY palla.avinash on | May 11, 2012, 9:26 GMT

    No McDermott best time to dent the confidence of Australian bowler by the opposition batsmen.now real trouble starts for Clarke and his only rescue can be watson , hussey or himself to break good partnership.Indian batsmen and KP will enjoy now.haha shock for ca ask patterson,siddle how much they developed under him.

  • POSTED BY on | May 11, 2012, 9:23 GMT

    Its likely he resigned since his son was in the running for a slot as well. Did not really get his due as one of the best fast bowlers Oz have ever had. Quite like a Graham McKenzie of the 80s and 90s. Should now look at Geoff Lawson who I felt is also one of the best. They now have a very good attack - Siddle, Hilfenhaus, Pattinson, Cummins and Starc. Add to that the proven Johnson, Bollinger and Harris. Alistair McDermott is just like his dad - bustling run up, carrot top and quicksilver pace.

  • POSTED BY palla.avinash on | May 11, 2012, 9:18 GMT

    very bad news for Australia especially if they are preparing for India tour and ashes 2013.McDermott brought the best out of the siddle,patterson and with johnson coming from injury it wont easy easy for cricket Australia to find a coach of his caliber .The Australia best pace attack i have seen under him better than England.managing patterson,siiddle,cummins,johnson,harris,starc,hilfenhus wont be easy for one single new who will be facing toughest challenge.i would say waqar younis if available can be the bast coach his knowledge can be immensely be helpful atleast for ashes 2013 or even wasim akram or pollock if available evn lillee.

  • POSTED BY SugarFoot on | May 11, 2012, 9:18 GMT

    A fella by the name of Glenn Mcgrath might be a fine choice - if he was available.

  • POSTED BY smudgeon on | May 11, 2012, 9:04 GMT

    @bhagat94 - do you mean the same Hilfenhaus who took 2/8 off 4 overs last night? sounds like failure to me. sad news about McDermott, he seems to have had a positive influence on the bowling group. big shoes to fill, but i reckon there's enough good bowling coaches around who can step up...

  • POSTED BY jmcilhinney on | May 11, 2012, 9:04 GMT

    @Aubm, I'm not sure that McDermott was the only, or even the biggest, influence on Hilfenhaus. He went back to Shield cricket, reinvented his action and took lots of wickets before getting back in the Aussie team. I'm not sure how much of that was McDermott's influence. When I say "I don't know" I mean that I genuinely don't know, so if someone else does know the specific details I'd be interested to hear them.

  • POSTED BY VivGilchrist on | May 11, 2012, 8:48 GMT

    Didn't he know it was a busy job?

  • POSTED BY jonesy2 on | May 11, 2012, 8:38 GMT

    i dont think its a big loss. he can be replaced. i would love to see akram as the new aussie bowling coach

  • POSTED BY on | May 11, 2012, 8:37 GMT

    Sorry to see him step down - he's done such a great job ressurecting Hilf and Sids but, out of curiosity, did he not think through how busy the position was and consider work/life/family balance before putting paw to paper..?

  • POSTED BY dezalenko on | May 11, 2012, 8:35 GMT

    @Kolpak1989 the BOWLOLOGIST!!

  • POSTED BY Dashgar on | May 11, 2012, 8:24 GMT

    What is with coaches these days. Seems nobody stays in any job longer than a year at the moment.

  • POSTED BY on | May 11, 2012, 8:00 GMT

    Dennis Lillee wouldn't be a bad choice if he and CA can get along.

  • POSTED BY JM_RSA on | May 11, 2012, 7:38 GMT

    Sad news for Aus. I think they should go for Wasim Akram. He was already advising Mitchell Starc!

  • POSTED BY on | May 11, 2012, 7:31 GMT

    MASSIVE LOST!....I was just telling a friend now that Johnson has been recalled, I was looking forward to seeing McDermott work his magic on Mitch - given how he revived the careers of Hilfy and Siddle.

    Would be slightly over the top to say he is irreplaceable. But i think his replacement has to be a another notable former AUS test fast-bowler, who coaching skills can be trusted.

  • POSTED BY Meety on | May 11, 2012, 7:15 GMT

    @Chris Sun - doubt Bichel can - it would be a conflict of interest with the selection process. As for who - dunno, don't think Cooley did a good job previously, Gillespie would be interesting. @Cummins_Hazlewood - agreed. == == == Spewing, would of liked him to stay on till the Ashes. Surely they could arrange a more official part time role???????

  • POSTED BY Mary_786 on | May 11, 2012, 7:14 GMT

    He was a very good bowling coach, we will be worse off without him

  • POSTED BY bhagat94 on | May 11, 2012, 6:38 GMT

    does anyone really care about the spin attack in aussies :the reason theretrack is worst in sub continent there fast bowlers fail to perform out there;see what happened to helfahauns the other night in ipl;poor aussie

  • POSTED BY Aubm on | May 11, 2012, 6:25 GMT

    Booo. Just look at what happend to Hilfenhaus under his guidance to see what an effect he was having.

  • POSTED BY satish619chandar on | May 11, 2012, 6:22 GMT

    A big noooo to this news.. He is the guy who transformed the attack which looked very tired and bowled pointless spells in Ashes and made them look world beaters again.. Surely he would be missed by the team.. I doubt why he actually accepted the job without knowing the schedule and his family needs?

  • POSTED BY Kolpak1989 on | May 11, 2012, 6:20 GMT

    Bad news for us. Too bad Allan Donald has signed with the Proteas. Damien Flemming up for it?

  • POSTED BY Street_Hawk on | May 11, 2012, 6:12 GMT

    I know why he resigned...his son is a strong candidate for selection....I guess he did not wanted to be in a position where people will say "his son got a favor from the bowling coach" if Alistair got selected.

  • POSTED BY Rajeev129 on | May 11, 2012, 6:08 GMT

    McDermott did a wonderful job for Australia. Let's wish him to enjoy with his family particularly of the emergence of his son Alister McDermott, who will surely be in Australian national squad in near future.

  • POSTED BY Hoggy_1989 on | May 11, 2012, 6:07 GMT

    I hope they don't rehire Troy Cooley...his obsession with reverse swing ruined Australian pace stocks for at least 5 years post 05 Ashes. A previous commentor mentioned Gillespie or Bichel, both valid options in terms of work ethic and approach to bowling. Then and again, McDermott has re-taught tried and true methods of high class full pitch swing bowling...so as long as some other coach doesn't get in their heads and tell them something else, Australia should be fine.

  • POSTED BY venkatesh018 on | May 11, 2012, 6:06 GMT

    Shocker! HUGE loss to the Australian team. Change your mind, Craig...

  • POSTED BY RandyOZ on | May 11, 2012, 6:02 GMT

    This is pretty much a nightmare right here. Why the hell couldn't Langer be the one who quits? This is terrible, terrible news!

  • POSTED BY nzcricket174 on | May 11, 2012, 6:00 GMT

    Just like Tim Southee became rubbish after Donald left NZ, Siddle will become go back to his old ways of bowling crap.

  • POSTED BY Romenevans on | May 11, 2012, 5:56 GMT

    India should grab McDermott ASAP!

  • POSTED BY jmcilhinney on | May 11, 2012, 5:52 GMT

    It's difficult to say how much effect this will have on the Australia bowling in the short and long terms. The standard of fast bowling from Australia seems to have improved of late and that is at least in part due to McDermott but it's hard to say exactly how much. I think that it's safe to say though that, from an Australian point of view, there's no up-side to this decision.

  • POSTED BY maddinson on | May 11, 2012, 5:34 GMT

    McDermott is one of the main reason for Australia's rise since the Ashes 2010-11, he will be badly missed. He took Siddle into different level altogether and rediscover the old Hilfenhaus. Australia currently have huge group of young and promising fast bowlers and he is very important man to guide them. However as he said he will be associated with CoE so youngsters have the good chance to forward his old and simple methodology to succeed.

  • POSTED BY realist1 on | May 11, 2012, 5:31 GMT

    What's up with these Australian coaches? I thought OZ motto is "never Quit". But recently Stuart Law quit from Bangladesh coaching role after only 9 months and now McDermott. Didn't these guys knew of the demand of international cricket before taking up the jobs... Aussies never give up so easily.

  • POSTED BY on | May 11, 2012, 5:29 GMT

    Who is likely to replace him, Troy Cooley, Dennis Lillee? Perhaps Jason Gillespie or Andy Bichel. Maybe it could be another foreigner, maybe from South Africa.

  • POSTED BY AngryAngy on | May 11, 2012, 5:23 GMT

    Nooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo

  • No featured comments at the moment.

  • POSTED BY AngryAngy on | May 11, 2012, 5:23 GMT

    Nooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo

  • POSTED BY on | May 11, 2012, 5:29 GMT

    Who is likely to replace him, Troy Cooley, Dennis Lillee? Perhaps Jason Gillespie or Andy Bichel. Maybe it could be another foreigner, maybe from South Africa.

  • POSTED BY realist1 on | May 11, 2012, 5:31 GMT

    What's up with these Australian coaches? I thought OZ motto is "never Quit". But recently Stuart Law quit from Bangladesh coaching role after only 9 months and now McDermott. Didn't these guys knew of the demand of international cricket before taking up the jobs... Aussies never give up so easily.

  • POSTED BY maddinson on | May 11, 2012, 5:34 GMT

    McDermott is one of the main reason for Australia's rise since the Ashes 2010-11, he will be badly missed. He took Siddle into different level altogether and rediscover the old Hilfenhaus. Australia currently have huge group of young and promising fast bowlers and he is very important man to guide them. However as he said he will be associated with CoE so youngsters have the good chance to forward his old and simple methodology to succeed.

  • POSTED BY jmcilhinney on | May 11, 2012, 5:52 GMT

    It's difficult to say how much effect this will have on the Australia bowling in the short and long terms. The standard of fast bowling from Australia seems to have improved of late and that is at least in part due to McDermott but it's hard to say exactly how much. I think that it's safe to say though that, from an Australian point of view, there's no up-side to this decision.

  • POSTED BY Romenevans on | May 11, 2012, 5:56 GMT

    India should grab McDermott ASAP!

  • POSTED BY nzcricket174 on | May 11, 2012, 6:00 GMT

    Just like Tim Southee became rubbish after Donald left NZ, Siddle will become go back to his old ways of bowling crap.

  • POSTED BY RandyOZ on | May 11, 2012, 6:02 GMT

    This is pretty much a nightmare right here. Why the hell couldn't Langer be the one who quits? This is terrible, terrible news!

  • POSTED BY venkatesh018 on | May 11, 2012, 6:06 GMT

    Shocker! HUGE loss to the Australian team. Change your mind, Craig...

  • POSTED BY Hoggy_1989 on | May 11, 2012, 6:07 GMT

    I hope they don't rehire Troy Cooley...his obsession with reverse swing ruined Australian pace stocks for at least 5 years post 05 Ashes. A previous commentor mentioned Gillespie or Bichel, both valid options in terms of work ethic and approach to bowling. Then and again, McDermott has re-taught tried and true methods of high class full pitch swing bowling...so as long as some other coach doesn't get in their heads and tell them something else, Australia should be fine.