Stevens quits as coach of Warriors, Scorchers
Western Australia and the Perth Scorchers have lost both their captain and coach in little more than a week after Lachlan Stevens elected to follow Marcus North in quitting his role at the WACA.
Stevens' exit continues a period of significant instability in WA, following the widely publicised disciplinary problems that afflicted the Scorchers' Twenty20 Champions League campaign in South Africa and almost a decade without winning a domestic trophy.
Adam Voges is captaining WA in an interim capacity following North's exit and is expected to be appointed full-time, while the Australia assistant coach Justin Langer has been widely spoken of as a potential replacement for Stevens.
Having taken over the role last summer when his predecessor Mickey Arthur was chosen as Australia's head coach, Stevens took the Scorchers to the Big Bash League final and won a contract for the 2012-13 season.
However the Scorchers' African misadventures have been book-ended by a dire start to the Sheffield Shield by WA, and they registered a third consecutive outright defeat in the match against Victoria on Saturday.
After Stevens decided not to seek an extension to his contract beyond this season it was agreed that he would leave the WACA and return home to Queensland at the conclusion of Wednesday's domestic limited overs match against the Bushrangers.
"Whilst the start of this season has been extremely challenging for all involved with the Warriors and Scorchers, I believe the past couple of seasons have been very rewarding and feel confident that we have laid foundations for a bright future," Stevens said. "A fresh coaching structure and new programs will ensure a greater depth of State squad going forward.
"The timing of this announcement is not ideal during a season, but it was only fair for the WACA to begin the search for a permanent replacement since my future intentions have become clear."
Christina Matthews, the WACA cheif executive, said the search for a new coach would begin "as a matter of urgency".
"The WACA appreciates the manner in which Lachlan has conducted himself in regards to his intentions for beyond this season and we wish him all the best for the future," Matthews said. "We will begin the task of assessing options for the position of Head Coach with both the Warriors and Scorchers as a matter of urgency."
Arthur and Stevens joined the Warriors as a head coach/assistant duo in 2010, Stevens having previously worked as the Queensland assistant coach. Both he and Arthur were highly critical of the team they inherited.
"We've done our best over the three years (since) I've been here, with Mickey as well, to start to turn around what had become a very, very insipid group and insipid squad,'' Stevens told ABC Radio last month after the Scorchers returned from South Africa.
"Things that we inherited that were very, very difficult, and I think the results in some ways have been very effective around our list management and improvement. Whether the WACA decides to move forward with me, or whether I decide to move forward with the group ... it's literally not about the coach, it's about the internal group.''
Daniel Brettig is an assistant editor at ESPNcricinfo. He tweets here