Pakistan v Australia 2012 August 20, 2012

Rixon to coach Australia for UAE ODIs

ESPNcricinfo staff

Steve Rixon, Australia's fielding mentor, will take over as head coach for the one-day internationals against Afghanistan and Pakistan in the UAE to allow Mickey Arthur to focus on preparations for the World ICC Twenty20. Arthur will return to head coaching duties for the T20 leg of the UAE trip, which is followed closely by the world tournament in Sri Lanka.

It won't be the first time in recent years that Australia have left their head coach at home - Tim Nielsen took a break during the ODIs in England that followed the 2009 Ashes loss and his assistant Troy Cooley was placed in charge. However, this year's move has more to do with the wider role of the head coach following the Argus review than allowing Arthur time off.

"Part of the broader scope of the new Australian team head coach role since the Australian team performance review was conducted was to have a wider view over the team's plans and how we prepare and we have a very important T20 tournament coming up," Arthur said. "I'll spend the time away from the team to really hone our T20 plans and study the opposition ahead of the ICC World Twenty20.

"We have great experience and harmony within our support staff group now and I know that Steve will do a terrific job in partnership with Justin Langer and Ali de Winter while I'm away."

Rixon is no stranger to handling an international side, having been head coach of New Zealand from 1996 to 1999. He will be in charge for four matches and will act as a selector during the ODIs, as Arthur does when he is in command.

"Of course you look forward to opportunities like this; it's not every day you get to coach the Australian cricket team and I'm looking forward to that extra responsibility and working with Michael Clarke," Rixon said. "In saying that, my job will be to simply carry on with all the good work and planning that has been done in recent times and hopefully hand back over to Mickey after four good wins."

The Australians fly out for the UAE on Tuesday and their tour begins with a one-off ODI against Afghanistan on Saturday. That is followed by three one-dayers and three T20s against Pakistan.

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Mathew on August 21, 2012, 19:00 GMT

    Pak are a pretty decent one day squad and I hope they can further the decline of Aus cricket. I heard they are bringing back Sir Don to get some much needed youth into the Aus squad. Anyways can only hope for a good series all the best Pak. SA next in tests for Aus you have just got to laugh at the thought.

  • Roo on August 21, 2012, 5:40 GMT

    @VivGilchrist... Read the article: rotating coaches is nothing new for Oz - being innovative is something that comes naturally to us... The ODI series isn't what Oz wanted, but rather a 5 x T20 series - we only agreed due to Pakistan's need to placate the media who wanted 2 different series... The T20's are the only important games leading up to the T20 WC next month - which is what Arthur is rightfully fully focusing on...

  • Dummy4 on August 21, 2012, 3:38 GMT

    @HawK89 - Asia is the largest continent in the world. The Indian "Subcontinent" or South Asia, as it is also known (along with Indo-Pak Subcontinent, South Asia Subcontinent, etc) is but a part of this continent. It's pretty big. You should look it up some time:

  • Andrew on August 20, 2012, 23:39 GMT

    @HawK89 - the sub-contintent is often referred to Asia, Indian people often refer to themselves as Asian. @popcorn - Rixon would of been the man I'd of had as Head Coach, so this could be a good little dry run for when Arthurs contract is renewed.

  • Nadeem on August 20, 2012, 18:01 GMT

    coach needs an away time from team is very odd. Let's see how good australia plays in T2020 with this new approach.

  • Rajaram on August 20, 2012, 13:14 GMT

    I zam delighted that Steve Rixon has finally got this opportunity as Coach.He is an under-rated Professional, and I predict he will provide valuable inputs to our Side.And we'll win.

  • Jeremy on August 20, 2012, 12:13 GMT

    Australia is pretty pathetic, and no amount of plans will help them. They need to learn how to bowl, field and bat better. @Jim Riches Wheeler - whats asian wickets? looks like the are playing in the sub-continent, not Asia.

  • Dummy4 on August 20, 2012, 12:08 GMT

    They are forgetting T20 will be played in Sri Lanka, not in Australia's bouncy pitches. I do not think Steve will make any justice to their team.

  • Bryn on August 20, 2012, 11:51 GMT

    i dont see why australia are even playing a series against pakistan especially because they have already selected the squad for the world t20 and made poor selections at that

  • Basil on August 20, 2012, 11:24 GMT

    So now they're rotating coaches? Unless Arthur needs time to get in shape for taking the new ball I don't understand what this is for.

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