Australia news August 3, 2012

Ali de Winter unveiled as new bowling coach

  shares 25

Ali de Winter, the Tasmania assistant coach, has been confirmed as the man to replace Craig McDermott as mentor to Australia's bowlers, after beating Waqar Younis to the job.

The choice of de Winter was likely from the moment Waqar confirmed to ESPNcricinfo that he had been knocked back for the position, with numerous other potential coaches under contract to other countries or provincial sides.

Cricket Australia's team performance manager Pat Howard, coach Mickey Arthur and captain Michael Clarke had taken a close look at de Winter's ways of working during the recent ODI tour of the UK, on which de Winter impressed with his intelligence and affable nature despite the poor results of the team in losing 4-0 to England.

Apart from working out how Australia's bowlers managed to take only 13 wickets in four completed matches during that series, another of de Winter's major objectives will be to help preserve Australia's bowling resources. Injuries have become an unhappy recent tradition, its most recent example having Pat Cummins, James Pattinson and Ben Cutting all unable to take part in the current Australia A tour due to physical ailments.

"We're very pleased to have secured Ali's services for the role from a wide field of international candidates," Howard said. "Ali presented well on how he would manage the role on a day-to-day basis and has impressed through his work with bowlers such as Ben Hilfenhaus and Jackson Bird in Tasmania, and while he was the interim bowling coach on the recent tour to England.

"We feel Ali has skills that will complement those of Mickey Arthur, Justin Langer and Steve Rixon and is well equipped to pick-up on Craig McDermott's previous good work."

While de Winter's ascension to the role may be defined as much by those who were not available for it as those who were - the likes of David Saker, Jason Gillespie, Damien Wright and Joe Dawes could not be considered due to their current employment - it should not be forgotten that he only narrowly lost out to McDermott last year.

"I don't think it is too complicated - it's about having a strong work ethic, building good relationships and doing things like attacking the top of off stump in Test cricket," de Winter said. "I am particularly excited to get this chance, particularly now as Australia has such a deep pool of fast bowling talent with 10-12 young bowlers featuring at the moment.

"There is a great group of young bowlers coming through to complement the experienced names who are also performing well."

Like his fellow Tasmanian bowling coach Troy Cooley, de Winter was a modest first-class bowler, but set about learning how to get the best out of bowlers after his playing days ended. His work with Tasmania has been consistently strong since he became state bowling coach in 2007, resulting in a promotion to be Tim Coyle's assistant while also coaching the Hobart Hurricanes in last summer's BBL.

He has been closely associated with the success of bowlers including Hilfenhaus, Luke Butterworth and more recently Bird, last summer's Sheffield Shield player of the year and a member of the Australia A touring side currently in England.

Hilfenhaus relied heavily on de Winter to correct flaws in his bowling action that emerged as he favoured an injured knee during 2009 and 2010, resulting in a wretched 2010-11 Ashes series. Reconfigured ahead of last summer, he emerged as one of the most incisive members of the bowling attack that routed India, and gave de Winter much of the credit for his resurgence.

"He noticed my action had changed a little bit and realised what we needed to change to get back to where we wanted it. He definitely played a very big role in that," Hilfenhaus said. "I personally find that he is very good technically to me, he understands the way I bowl pretty well, and he picks up things really easy.

"Tactically he is very good as well, but for me personally it is more the technical side of things. I am sure he is having a look at everyone else's actions as well and trying to find ways to help them improve. If I am doing things technically correct, that will help my chances at the other end, and some other people might be different.

"Some people need to be told all these tactics about bowling and these sorts of things, someone like myself I need to be told to keep things technically correct to give myself the best chance to perform my skills. I rate Ali pretty highly and I'm sure once the other blokes have had a bit more to do with him, they'll say exactly the same thing."

Other bowlers like Pattinson and Peter Siddle benefited greatly from McDermott's simpler advice and guiding presence beyond the long on fence during Test matches, but by choosing de Winter, CA have decreed their view that he is the best man to carry on the Queenslander's legacy.

Daniel Brettig is an assistant editor at ESPNcricinfo. He tweets here

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • VivtheGreatest on August 6, 2012, 7:27 GMT

    International sportsmen are more likely to respect a 'been there done it' former great player as a coach rather than a nobody so probably CA got it wrong this time

  • Vishnu27 on August 6, 2012, 4:35 GMT

    @RednWhiteArmy: yeah, that's right. Because England are travelling along so well right now, aren't they? Try winning your home tests against lower ranked sides, before prematurely shooting from the lip. However, as we all know, England's current test ranking was only a very temporary thing

  • on August 5, 2012, 13:45 GMT

    bowlers should be good enough to deliver, amir and asif had the talent they produced what waqar ordered, umer gul did it occasionally,,,,,,, but why CA didn't go for dennis lillee.

  • RednWhiteArmy on August 5, 2012, 10:21 GMT

    Australia need a miracle not a bowling coach

  • on August 5, 2012, 4:37 GMT

    hmmm, well when the bowlers go through a tough trot and need some advice on how to bowl to a certain player or to draw some inspiration from, meaning you choose wrong, didnt need to be just Waqar but other ex greats, what im trying to say you need someone to draw inspiration from, it work with having Craig and him being a Australian icon with a proven record and a smart bowling brain was great, i dont see the value with Ali de Winter. the aussie bowlers vs england bowled terrible and he had a chance to turn things around, im even sure andy bichel would have done a great job, that man bowled some inspiring spells and very unlucky not to play for Australia more, there should be coaches who have been there and done that in the game cricket in international level, good luck tho but i believe it wont help out.

  • on August 5, 2012, 3:20 GMT

    Winter may be good but really a foolish decision to pick him ahead of Waqar who is one of the best subcontinental fast bowlers.Only he and Wasim could toil the entire day on graveyards and bag many wickets.

  • RandyOZ on August 5, 2012, 1:17 GMT

    Would've prefered Waqar but if he continues in the mould of McDermott I won't be complaining. What about Langer? When is he getting sacked?

  • Adoh on August 4, 2012, 20:20 GMT

    How could the selection panel possibly find that he demonstrated effectiveness during his tryout in the recent series whitewash in the UK. I'd like to see the selection criteria, and the minutes from the interview. How about we see some transparency instead of media scripting. The cricket administration in Australia is ruining the experience of Australian cricket, well, at least for me. The question is, how many series defeats will we have to digest before they change the coach? We've suffered shameful batting performances under Langer now for at least three years...coincidence? We had some bowling success under McDermott, coincidence? We've not performed well in bowling since the loss of McDermott and recently, with the addition of DeWinter, coinicdence? That being said, I hope he does well because I hate watching us lose, its agonising.

  • on August 4, 2012, 20:06 GMT

    i have no problem using him

  • maddinson on August 4, 2012, 8:22 GMT

    Winter is a good choice than Waqar, a great player not necessary to be a great coach. All the very best to him, just keep bowlers fit, they (Harris, Pattinson, Hilfy and Siddle) will destroy India and England in their backyard.

  • VivtheGreatest on August 6, 2012, 7:27 GMT

    International sportsmen are more likely to respect a 'been there done it' former great player as a coach rather than a nobody so probably CA got it wrong this time

  • Vishnu27 on August 6, 2012, 4:35 GMT

    @RednWhiteArmy: yeah, that's right. Because England are travelling along so well right now, aren't they? Try winning your home tests against lower ranked sides, before prematurely shooting from the lip. However, as we all know, England's current test ranking was only a very temporary thing

  • on August 5, 2012, 13:45 GMT

    bowlers should be good enough to deliver, amir and asif had the talent they produced what waqar ordered, umer gul did it occasionally,,,,,,, but why CA didn't go for dennis lillee.

  • RednWhiteArmy on August 5, 2012, 10:21 GMT

    Australia need a miracle not a bowling coach

  • on August 5, 2012, 4:37 GMT

    hmmm, well when the bowlers go through a tough trot and need some advice on how to bowl to a certain player or to draw some inspiration from, meaning you choose wrong, didnt need to be just Waqar but other ex greats, what im trying to say you need someone to draw inspiration from, it work with having Craig and him being a Australian icon with a proven record and a smart bowling brain was great, i dont see the value with Ali de Winter. the aussie bowlers vs england bowled terrible and he had a chance to turn things around, im even sure andy bichel would have done a great job, that man bowled some inspiring spells and very unlucky not to play for Australia more, there should be coaches who have been there and done that in the game cricket in international level, good luck tho but i believe it wont help out.

  • on August 5, 2012, 3:20 GMT

    Winter may be good but really a foolish decision to pick him ahead of Waqar who is one of the best subcontinental fast bowlers.Only he and Wasim could toil the entire day on graveyards and bag many wickets.

  • RandyOZ on August 5, 2012, 1:17 GMT

    Would've prefered Waqar but if he continues in the mould of McDermott I won't be complaining. What about Langer? When is he getting sacked?

  • Adoh on August 4, 2012, 20:20 GMT

    How could the selection panel possibly find that he demonstrated effectiveness during his tryout in the recent series whitewash in the UK. I'd like to see the selection criteria, and the minutes from the interview. How about we see some transparency instead of media scripting. The cricket administration in Australia is ruining the experience of Australian cricket, well, at least for me. The question is, how many series defeats will we have to digest before they change the coach? We've suffered shameful batting performances under Langer now for at least three years...coincidence? We had some bowling success under McDermott, coincidence? We've not performed well in bowling since the loss of McDermott and recently, with the addition of DeWinter, coinicdence? That being said, I hope he does well because I hate watching us lose, its agonising.

  • on August 4, 2012, 20:06 GMT

    i have no problem using him

  • maddinson on August 4, 2012, 8:22 GMT

    Winter is a good choice than Waqar, a great player not necessary to be a great coach. All the very best to him, just keep bowlers fit, they (Harris, Pattinson, Hilfy and Siddle) will destroy India and England in their backyard.

  • gullycover on August 4, 2012, 7:42 GMT

    I firmly believe that as a coach, your experience as an ex-int'national player is an incredible asset that you bring on the table which cannot be matched/replacd by anything. As an ex-player,you have been to the difficult situations of cricket, both on-field & off-field.You know what to do,what to expect,what to anticipate in certain situations and therefore are better prepared to coach/advise your players. Just look at these 2 current examples of Kirsten and Andy Flowers. Great players of their generation. They are flourishing as coaches and hence their teams are progressing as well. Recently, Mohsin Khan coached Pakistan and he took the team from shambles to #4 rank side in the test team. IMHO, Waqar would have made an excellent coach for Australia. People are saying that he has ego issues or communication problems. If there was really such a case, I highly doubt Cricket Australia would have approached Waqar. I think there is a different reason behind his rejection. Time will tell.

  • kensohatter on August 4, 2012, 6:32 GMT

    Good appointment. Waqars ego would not have meshed well with the aussies and if appointment there is no way he would have lasted till the ashes. Ali is the best available coach at present. Id love to see David Saker make his way back to the Australian camp in much the same way Allan Donald has done for SA but Ali deserves his chance. I do think Australia needs to ensure they get a good part time consultant for the spinners.

  • jezzastyles on August 4, 2012, 6:26 GMT

    @the_blue_android : I reckon the principles are the same for coaching regardless of the sport; a lot of professional sports have coaches who were "average" players at best, but who make far better coaches/managers. As for being intimidated, well, there ain't too many coaches who are submissive, they tend to be quite assertive, and I am reasonably sure that the HEAD COACH would have no trouble whatsoever giving the bowling coach a "kick up the arse" if it was required, he certainly wouldn't be intimidated; correct me if I'm wrong, but he's coaching Ponting, and he certainly has to go down as a great (despite his drop in form over last several years). Lastly, going on the current form of your bowlers (in Tests), as in fairly ineffectual, your bowlers might be in the field for a long time as well. IF Cummins & Pattinson are fully fit next Ashes, I can't wait to see it.

  • Behind_the_bowlers_arm on August 4, 2012, 5:24 GMT

    A lot of sports fall for the culture of the celebrity coach. Just because someone was a great player it doesn't mean they make a great coach. This position doesn't preclude experienced former Test players being consulted by players seeking advice on overseas conditions or specific advice as in Mitchell Starc meeting Wasim Akram or even thinking for themselves. Radical concept I know. Good to hear that Ali is going to target the injury record of many of the new bowlers which has reached crisis proportions with Pattinson, Cummins & Cutting sent home from this crucial A tour.

  • jonesy2 on August 4, 2012, 4:58 GMT

    very very good bowling coach and should do a great job. just what he has done with tassies bowlers is amazing. transformed hilfenhaus into, evidently, the worlds best bowler, jackson bird has the most unbelievable rookie season ever seen under him and hes developed james faulkner into a incredibly promising allrounder. the better news is that i think waqar will still have some role in developing talent whether its at the AIS or at the COE.

  • Meety on August 4, 2012, 2:38 GMT

    Done some good things with Tassie, not sure the ODI tour was a success, not sure if he'd be the right choice, but wish him the best of luck! @gullycover/getsetgopk - it's more than just on field glory. It would be about being able to communicate with other members of a coaching squad & players & whether you'd be 100% committed to the task. In theory Waqar would of been a better choice, but I would assume Ali D fit the job description according to their rationale. Whether the rationale was right or not - only time will tell!

  • Rally_Windies on August 4, 2012, 1:02 GMT

    Waqar, may have been a great bowler , but his stint as coach of Pakistan showed him to be immature and egotistical. It is ok for a player to have "personality issues" . It is the job of the coach and the Captain to handle these "personalities" and get the "team" to work as a unit ...

    The selectors pick the best individuals and the coach and captain try to make a team.

    Waqar , like Gibson, takes the approach to sack anyone they don't get along with. Those type of people should stay away from coaching and should never be made captains ...

    Lets hope the WICB, gets rid of Gibson .... the alternative is to sack Chanderpaul and Gayle... Sarawan and Jerome Taylor remain in the GIBSON bad books ... luckily for the WI fans, Chanderpaul and Gayle have stuck it out and found their way back into the team AGAINST the wishes of Gibson.

  • on August 4, 2012, 0:43 GMT

    Ali's good an and all, but why the hell did we knock back Waqar Younis? He's one of the greatest pacemen Pakistan ever produced and I'd rather have Wasim Akram's bowling buddy coaching the quicks than de Winter.

  • on August 4, 2012, 0:01 GMT

    its not about waqar .... its about what suits ozi as a bowling coach.... if its ali ... so be it.... life goes on...

  • the_blue_android on August 3, 2012, 22:43 GMT

    Mickey Arthur would have been clearly intimidated by the presence of one of the greatest bowlers to ever have walked the planet. That is probably the reason why he made sure that they select someone with lesser credentials to help him out. I'm sure if Waqar was around when Mickey would be less comfortable giving his non-technical motivational speeches as they are hardly of any inherent value. Popcor, Ben Hifenhaus, Mitchell Johnson? Did you forget the last ashes so soon? Just because Hilfy had good figures against India doesn't mean anything. Next ashes if you guys show up with guys like Johnson and Hilfy, Australia will be on the field for a long time. Cook will probably bat a few months without getting out.

  • on August 3, 2012, 21:50 GMT

    waqar should have applied for Bangladesh, Mozambique, Zimbabwe, Sankara...he can't be a coach for England, Australia, or New zealand...he should not forget his status, please for give his audacity..

  • gullycover on August 3, 2012, 19:40 GMT

    I wish Ali all the best for this tenure and he must have some ability that CA has secured his services but to think that Waqar is not a good coach is simply ridiculous. Waqar, one of the modern greats without any question, is a sort of man who gives everything in whatever he decides to take up. Under Waqar's coaching tenures with Pakistan - both as a bowling coach and as a full time coach, ordinary bowlers flourished. He made hockey players like Rana Naveed Hasan into aggressive, potent bowlers. Muhammad Asif, Aamir, Umar Gul etc were good bowlers but under his guidance, they became unplayable. He taught these men how to talk with the ball. Since he has gone, Pakistani fast bowling fortunes have dwindled a bit. They say, 'somebody's loss is somebody gain'. Cricket Australia may find that out soon.

  • popcorn on August 3, 2012, 16:15 GMT

    This is great news. What he did for Ben Hilfenhaus shows he is an EXCELLENT Bowling Coach. Under his tutelage, Mitchell Johnson will be back to his brilliance, and the Aussie bowling attack will ferarsome. I hope he coaches Nathan Lyon, and Xavier Doherty on spin too. He could enlist the help of Shane Warne or Stuart Macgill or Brad Hogg.

  • Steggz on August 3, 2012, 13:37 GMT

    It's not about whether he's a better bowler than Waqar. It's about whether he's a better coach. And my impression is that he's a better coach.

  • getsetgopk on August 3, 2012, 13:20 GMT

    Hope that works out for Australia but compared to Waqar as a bowler, there is no comparison at all and to think that he knows better than Waqar is would be a wrong thing to do.

  • No featured comments at the moment.

  • getsetgopk on August 3, 2012, 13:20 GMT

    Hope that works out for Australia but compared to Waqar as a bowler, there is no comparison at all and to think that he knows better than Waqar is would be a wrong thing to do.

  • Steggz on August 3, 2012, 13:37 GMT

    It's not about whether he's a better bowler than Waqar. It's about whether he's a better coach. And my impression is that he's a better coach.

  • popcorn on August 3, 2012, 16:15 GMT

    This is great news. What he did for Ben Hilfenhaus shows he is an EXCELLENT Bowling Coach. Under his tutelage, Mitchell Johnson will be back to his brilliance, and the Aussie bowling attack will ferarsome. I hope he coaches Nathan Lyon, and Xavier Doherty on spin too. He could enlist the help of Shane Warne or Stuart Macgill or Brad Hogg.

  • gullycover on August 3, 2012, 19:40 GMT

    I wish Ali all the best for this tenure and he must have some ability that CA has secured his services but to think that Waqar is not a good coach is simply ridiculous. Waqar, one of the modern greats without any question, is a sort of man who gives everything in whatever he decides to take up. Under Waqar's coaching tenures with Pakistan - both as a bowling coach and as a full time coach, ordinary bowlers flourished. He made hockey players like Rana Naveed Hasan into aggressive, potent bowlers. Muhammad Asif, Aamir, Umar Gul etc were good bowlers but under his guidance, they became unplayable. He taught these men how to talk with the ball. Since he has gone, Pakistani fast bowling fortunes have dwindled a bit. They say, 'somebody's loss is somebody gain'. Cricket Australia may find that out soon.

  • on August 3, 2012, 21:50 GMT

    waqar should have applied for Bangladesh, Mozambique, Zimbabwe, Sankara...he can't be a coach for England, Australia, or New zealand...he should not forget his status, please for give his audacity..

  • the_blue_android on August 3, 2012, 22:43 GMT

    Mickey Arthur would have been clearly intimidated by the presence of one of the greatest bowlers to ever have walked the planet. That is probably the reason why he made sure that they select someone with lesser credentials to help him out. I'm sure if Waqar was around when Mickey would be less comfortable giving his non-technical motivational speeches as they are hardly of any inherent value. Popcor, Ben Hifenhaus, Mitchell Johnson? Did you forget the last ashes so soon? Just because Hilfy had good figures against India doesn't mean anything. Next ashes if you guys show up with guys like Johnson and Hilfy, Australia will be on the field for a long time. Cook will probably bat a few months without getting out.

  • on August 4, 2012, 0:01 GMT

    its not about waqar .... its about what suits ozi as a bowling coach.... if its ali ... so be it.... life goes on...

  • on August 4, 2012, 0:43 GMT

    Ali's good an and all, but why the hell did we knock back Waqar Younis? He's one of the greatest pacemen Pakistan ever produced and I'd rather have Wasim Akram's bowling buddy coaching the quicks than de Winter.

  • Rally_Windies on August 4, 2012, 1:02 GMT

    Waqar, may have been a great bowler , but his stint as coach of Pakistan showed him to be immature and egotistical. It is ok for a player to have "personality issues" . It is the job of the coach and the Captain to handle these "personalities" and get the "team" to work as a unit ...

    The selectors pick the best individuals and the coach and captain try to make a team.

    Waqar , like Gibson, takes the approach to sack anyone they don't get along with. Those type of people should stay away from coaching and should never be made captains ...

    Lets hope the WICB, gets rid of Gibson .... the alternative is to sack Chanderpaul and Gayle... Sarawan and Jerome Taylor remain in the GIBSON bad books ... luckily for the WI fans, Chanderpaul and Gayle have stuck it out and found their way back into the team AGAINST the wishes of Gibson.

  • Meety on August 4, 2012, 2:38 GMT

    Done some good things with Tassie, not sure the ODI tour was a success, not sure if he'd be the right choice, but wish him the best of luck! @gullycover/getsetgopk - it's more than just on field glory. It would be about being able to communicate with other members of a coaching squad & players & whether you'd be 100% committed to the task. In theory Waqar would of been a better choice, but I would assume Ali D fit the job description according to their rationale. Whether the rationale was right or not - only time will tell!