May 22, 2003

Fleming joins Commonwealth Bank Cricket Academy coaching staff

The Australian Cricket Board (ACB) in conjunction with the Australian Institute of Sport (AIS) today announced the appointment of former Australian player Damien Fleming to the coaching staff at the Commonwealth Bank Cricket Academy (CBCA).

Fleming will take up a two-year contract as a senior coach at the CBCA, replacing Wayne Phillips, who resigned from the position earlier this month to assume the head coaching role with the Southern Redbacks

The appointment also brings an end to Fleming's decorated playing career, having been released from the final year of his contract with the South Australian Cricket Association (SACA). Fleming joined the Redbacks from Victoria for the 2002-03 domestic season, playing just five games before suffering a serious shoulder injury.

Fleming will join head coach Bennett King and fellow senior coaches John Harmer and David Moore at the academy's Adelaide base.

He will be responsible for all aspects of academy coaching, working closely with the academy's overseas program and Dennis Lillee's Pace Australia program.

ACB Chief Executive Officer (CEO) James Sutherland said the appointment of Fleming to the Commonwealth Bank Cricket Academy coaching staff would benefit Australian cricket.

"Damien has great record as a successful first class cricketer over many years," Mr Sutherland said.

"Damien's recent experiences with the Australian team will hold him in good stead as he works with the cream of our cricketing youth.

"The Commonwealth Bank Cricket Academy is the finishing school for our talented young elite cricketers, so it will benefit them to have contact with recently retired international players such as Damien who can share their experiences and knowledge."

While disappointed to lose such an experienced and valued player, SACA CEO Mike Deare said Fleming had the association's best wishes and full support.

"The SACA is extremely sad to see Damien not fulfil his dream of playing for the Redbacks next season, after he worked so hard to rehabilitate following shoulder surgery," Mr Deare said.

"Although we are disappointed he won't be a part of South Australia's bowling attack next season, Damien takes up this role with our very best wishes and complete support.

"We know that cricket coaching is a career path he has always wanted to follow and these sorts of opportunities need to be taken when they come along.

"Damien has been an inspirational leader to have around Adelaide Oval and a player who has made an immense contribution to Australian cricket."

Director of the AIS Mr Michael Scott said the appointment of Fleming to the academy's coaching staff is an example of the calibre of coaches the AIS and the ACB seek to recruit.

"The key to the success of the AIS over the years has been in identifying and recruiting the most talented coaches, domestically or internationally, to get the best out of our athletes,"

"His recent domestic and international experience as a player combined with his desire to contribute to the next generation of Australia's elite cricketers bodes well for the future of the sport in this country."

Fleming played 20 Test matches for Australia after making his debut against Pakistan in 1994-95, claiming 75 wickets at an average of 25.89.

The right-armer was renowned for his steadiness and reliability at the bowling crease, and his hat-trick against Pakistan on debut - only the third time in the history of cricket this feat has been achieved.

Fleming was also a key member of Australia's one-day international team, playing 88 matches including the 1999 World Cup victory. He will also be remembered for his composed bowling in the final overs of World Cup semi finals in 1996 and 1999 against the West Indies and Pakistan respectively.