Western Australia news November 7, 2012

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

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Andrew on November 10, 2012, 2:53 GMT

    @garry McKenzie - yep, I'll never forget Punter having to show up at a Media conference & basically apologise with a big black eye! Cric Oz showed real leadership there. Seems at the moment - there is no real responsibility taken by the players. That said I thought it showed promise that MMarsh was far & away the best WA batsmen in their defeat to Victoria.

  • Dummy4 on November 8, 2012, 22:32 GMT

    Gilly4ever, I seem to remember a certain young gun called Ponting getting into strife in a similar incident to Marsh, and his punishment didn't do any harm to Australian cricket.

  • Andrew on November 8, 2012, 1:10 GMT

    @Pazman on (November 07 2012, 12:56 PM GMT) - mate two words - Javed Miandad! That's is all the depth of analysis my 7 word comment deserves buddy!

  • Jason on November 7, 2012, 12:56 GMT

    WA cricket is currently a joke! Poor attitudes from players toward the champions league campaign. Voges made captain laughable. Best option I guess but an indictment on Wa cricket but this is an organisation that has lost Save Hussey, Katich and Chris Rogers on the 10 years. Class players and strong individuals. Those that think Lillee will kick butt and change things will be sorely mistaken. He has been there for a few years and allowed this happen. Much MUST come the players. Bond together work hard and expect the same from their squad members. This does provide some players with opportunity Hope things turn around soon.

  • Cameron on November 7, 2012, 11:12 GMT

    @Gilly4ever. I am so sick of people talking up the Marsh brothers. They would have to be the two most overrated cricketers in the country. After 21 first class matches Mitchell has taken 28 wickets and has a batting average of 21. On those figures he is only getting a game for WA because they have no depth.

  • paul on November 7, 2012, 10:37 GMT

    Another smashing today! Coach going out on a high; so NOT.

  • Bob on November 7, 2012, 10:10 GMT

    In fairness to the players, I would have seen Arthurs' departure as one big kick in the teeth. Comes in all guns blazing then ditches them for a better offer only a fraction of the way into his contract. Yes yes I understand they're grown men and Arthurs can do whatever he wants, etc, etc. Just saying I'd feel let down by it if it was me. May have no relevance whatsoever to the problems, just thought I'd mention it.

  • Roo on November 7, 2012, 4:03 GMT

    That the outgoing coach can say "what had become a very, very insipid group and insipid squad" says as much about management as it does about the players attitude...

    So the captain & coach fall on their swords, while management keep their heads in the ground (& their well paid jobs)... Seems that the contracts handed out were both poorly handled & still don't put up any form of performance based payments & behavioural rules... That basically the whole team (less 2 players) that stuffed up were let off the hook for the simple reason that they were all there makes no sense at all... Maybe WA cricket needs it own individual Argus report?...

  • Adrian on November 7, 2012, 3:10 GMT

    It is all a bit of a storm in a teacup, methinks. Mitchell Marsh is being over punished for minor disciplinary breaches, and Australia are missing out on one of their most talented bowling all-rounders because of it. How about we just get on with the job and forget about who went to what nightclub when?

  • Andrew on November 7, 2012, 2:00 GMT

    Get Denis Lillee in to kick some bums!

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