Australia news May 11, 2012

McDermott steps down as Australia bowling coach

ESPNcricinfo staff

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.