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.

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  • Dummy4 on September 28, 2011, 1:09 GMT

    Better Cooley than Nielsen. Good stand in to set the bar high for a full time coach.

  • Matthew on September 27, 2011, 23:56 GMT

    @LesGrossman, I tend to agree with Ian Chappell's view that when players reach the highest level they shouldn't need coaches as such, that good coaches should be employed at the lower levels of cricket to equip players with the skills they need by the time they play for the national team. I can understand certain players having a mentor to help them out every now and then (e.g Johnson prob needs someone to work with him) but having a head coach, a batting coach, bowling coach and fielding coach seems a bit much to me. At the very least the head coach ought to be able to cover fielding. The captain should be in confident enough to do all the on field stuff and perhaps just have someone on to assist manage off field stuff for the team.

  • Lou on September 27, 2011, 13:26 GMT

    Troy Cooley can't turn Johnson into a consistent bowler, lord knows he's tried often enough. I just want the Aussies to be competitive in this series v SA, no throwing wickets away stupidly and bowling like men without a brain.

  • Ajay on September 27, 2011, 13:11 GMT

    whoever be the coach, his main aim should be to improve bowling of australia specially in swing and spin department.

  • Rajaram on September 27, 2011, 11:19 GMT

    What happens to Craig McDermott then? Troy Cooley will definitely help our bowling attack to improve (along with Craig McDermott??) while Justin Langer - batting, and Steve Rixon - fielding. Australia have ALWAYS beaten South Africa IN South Africa, so this will be a repeat performance.

  • Anthony on September 27, 2011, 11:10 GMT

    Timid Mitch up and firing?

  • Garry on September 27, 2011, 9:25 GMT

    Cooley has been involved with the Aussie set up for a while now and I can't really say many of the bowlers have improved and we've had some significant injuries to our young bowlers. Not that this is his fault entirely but he was part of the set up and the bowlers were more his domain. I think Australia were just happy to win the series in SL but I think they realise the enormity of the challenge the SA tour brings. Whatever happens it'll set us up for the home series. Australia have to go out and play positive cricket. Realistically there is a big gap between 2nd and 3rd in the Test rankings and the Aussies have only just reached 4th. Obviously there is a lot of interest in the SA tour squad so we'll see what happens. Things are coming along but will feel better once we get settled on a head coach (Rixon or Arthur??) and head selector (hopefully Rod Marsh).

  • Mark on September 27, 2011, 8:06 GMT

    @ RightArmEverything, no Clarke needs to focus on his batting, not 'running the show' as you put it. One century in 20 odd innings does not speak of a player in control of his game. Let Cooley take the burden of organising, while Clarke does serious time in the nets on his game. England is number one in the world and they have a lot of 'chiefs' in the backroom. The difference is they are quailty and proven coaches appointed by quality administrators.

  • Matthew on September 27, 2011, 7:42 GMT

    I think they ought to just let Clarke run the show for this tour (for the test and one-day teams, not T20 obviously). I'm sure he's capable until the Head Coach is appointed. Too many chiefs in the Australian cricket team I think.

  • Mark on September 27, 2011, 7:36 GMT

    @Ben1989 and RightArmEverything... both rixon and langer want the job so if either were to take the reins of interim coach it would be a clear conflict of interest to the process of the appointment. @hyclass of course times are lean, how long has it been since australia have beaten anybody above themselves on the rankings? as for the backslapping, that will be replaces by finger pointing as aust get bowled out for under 200 in every test innings in SA. but we do get a failed bowling coach to take over from a failed head coach, way to go sutherland and brown! Australian cricket will be no better as all the failed coaches get jobs within the state or CA system, they are now just failing our future players. you see the argus review says what is wrong, but nothing on how to fix the problems.

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