Australia news September 27, 2011

Cooley named Australia's interim coach

ESPNcricinfo staff

Troy Cooley will be Australia's interim head coach for next month's tour of South Africa, but he has confirmed he will not apply for the full-time job as Tim Nielsen's replacement. Cooley is the head coach at the Centre of Excellence in Brisbane, having spent five years as the bowling coach and Nielsen's assistant with the national team.

The current assistant coach, Justin Langer, and the fielding mentor Steve Rixon had been the two favourites for the interim position after Nielsen stood down at the end of the recent tour of Sri Lanka. However, Cricket Australia's general manager of cricket, Michael Brown, said Cooley was a good fit for the stand-in role, which covers the two Twenty20s, three ODIs and two Tests in South Africa.

"Troy has filled this role successfully in the past, and has worked extensively with all players within the Australian set-up and with our younger squad members at CA's Centre of Excellence," Brown said. "Troy has advised that he will not be an applicant for the head coach role, given his significant and important duties at the Centre of Excellence. This appointment will therefore allow the Australian squad continuity as they attempt to cement their No.1 ODI ranking and attempt to climb the ICC Test rankings."

Rixon is expected to be a strong contender for the full-time position as head coach, while Langer could also feature in Cricket Australia's considerations. Cooley, who was in charge of Australia A's tour of Zimbabwe earlier this year, said he was looking forward to taking on the interim role.

"I feel excited and comfortable coming into this caretaker's role knowing that Michael Clarke, Shane Watson and Tim Nielsen have been planning this South African campaign for a while now," Cooley said. "My immediate task will be to come up to speed with their plans and work with the players and support team to ensure the preparation is spot on for a successful tour.

"My working knowledge of the Australian team and our opposition will no doubt be an asset in the short term as we look to build on the successful tour of Sri Lanka. My role is to ensure all players have what they need to prepare for the tour and to oversee the support staff to ensure the best possible results."

As the acting coach, Cooley will be part of the selection panel and will have a say in the ODI and T20 squads for the South African series, which will be announced later this week.