Australia in Bangladesh, 2011 April 9, 2011

McDermott presses his case to replace Cooley

Craig McDermott, the former Australian fast bowler, is pressing his case to be named the national team's new fast bowling coach by taking on a leading role during Australia's ongoing limited-overs tour of Bangladesh. McDermott, 45, who is employed by Cricket Australia as an assistant at the Centre of Excellence (COE) in Brisbane, was granted the chance to enhance his claims to replace Troy Cooley by accompanying the squad to Dhaka for their week-long visit.

If possession is nine-tenths of the law, McDermott will have done himself no harm at all by travelling with the team on the first tour since Cooley vacated the role in order to become the head coach at the COE, replacing Greg Chappell.

Michael Brown, CA's head of cricket operations, is presently whittling down a shortlist of 14 applicants, believed to include McDermott and Jason Gillespie among others, in order to have the new coach installed in time for tours of Sri Lanka and South Africa from July.

Senior fast bowler Brett Lee, who is mentoring a group that includes the young Victorian quick James Pattinson, said McDermott was making all the right moves. "I'm not sure what Cricket Australia want to do with that and that's I suppose out of my control, but the work Craig's done over the last couple of days with the guys has been great," Lee told ESPNCricinfo.

"He's been a world-class bowler for Australia and his record speaks for itself. He gets on well with the guys."

Lee is finding plenty of reward in passing down the knowledge he has accumulated over the years, and feels it is very much his duty to do so, just as he was taught by Gillespie and Glenn McGrath.

"I'm enjoying playing more of a leadership role, working with the young bowlers and passing on the knowledge I've had passed on to me from Jason, Glenn and McDermott who's working with us now here. I was looking up to him as a youngster when I was first playing," Lee said.

"As I was picking Glenn's brain for years and years, and Dizzy's [Jason Gillespie] brain, and trying to be a sponge and get as much out of those guys as possible, it wouldn't be fair if I left the game now and didn't pass on the knowledge I've learned.

"I feel it's my duty also to help the young guys coming through. And that's not saying I've achieved everything and that I'm the world's greatest bowler, but I think with what I've learned with my experience, I might show them five things and if one thing works for them, it's going to make them a better bowler.

The 2009 Twenty20 Champions League, in which Lee starred with both bat and ball before suffering the elbow injury that threatened to end his career before this year's World Cup, was a source of great satisfaction for him as much as a mentor as a pace bowler.

"Certainly in the 2009 Champions League I felt like I got a lot out of that series personally by passing on my knowledge and helping the young guys," he said. "Having such a young side and nurturing those young guys coming through, was one of the most exciting times for me personally, not through getting wickets or making runs but the feeling you get from helping guys."

Daniel Brettig is an assistant editor at ESPNcricinfo

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