Australia news March 25, 2011

NSW chase full-time Shield coach

New South Wales will prioritise Sheffield Shield and domestic limited overs cricket next summer by appointing a coach to oversee those two formats, in a marked contrast to other states.

South Australia, Queensland and Victoria have all announced their state coaches will have to divide and dilute their time across all three formats in 2011-12, while Western Australia are expected to ask the same of former South African coach Mickey Arthur. In the case of the Redbacks (Darren Berry) and Bulls (Darren Lehmann), both coaches started purely as Twenty20 mentors, before having their roles expanded for the coming season. Bushrangers coach Greg Shipperd will helm the Melbourne Renegades, while his assistant Simon Helmot will preside over the Melbourne Stars.

However the Blues have indicated they believe the Shield and one-day competitions, vital as they are to the development of the next generation of Australian cricketers, demand a specialised mentor, who will also spend time at the national Under-19 tournament to identify emerging talent.

"That's why we believe it's not the way to go in terms of coaching (to have one coach across all three formats)," NSW chief executive David Gilbert told ESPNCricinfo.

"It has always been our priority to prepare players for international cricket and to field strong teams on the Shield and one-day competitions and it will continue to be."

Former NSW coach Trevor Bayliss, who went on to coach Sri Lanka and will conclude his tenure after the World Cup, is among the contenders for the role, but Gilbert is intent on casting his net as widely as possible in the search to replace outgoing coach Matthew Mott.

"This is probably the most open I can remember the race being to be the next NSW coach," he said.

"There's no doubt it is one of the most prestigious domestic coaching jobs in the world. I've had some inquiries from England and I'm really excited to see how it pans out. Matthew's been very successful in the role for NSW, but I think it is also time for some new ideas and a new direction."

Gilbert said Cricket NSW was yet to finalise the appointment of coaches for the state's two Twenty20 teams, as wrangling continues at executive and board levels over issues of private ownership and player recruitment.

The irony of the state coaching position, for which applications will close on April 8, is that the appointee's first task will be to take the Blues to this year's Champions League in India - the last time Australian state colours will be seen at Twenty20 level.

"That is a bit of an anomaly," said Gilbert, "but it can also serve as a really useful pre-season for the coach to run his eye over players both in training and playing in that tournament."

Daniel Brettig is an assistant editor at ESPNcricinfo