Western Australia's new coach Adam Voges will seek to preserve the culture fostered by his predecessor Justin Langer while also aiming to improve on the state's recent Sheffield Shield results, which have faded after consecutive final appearances in 2014 and 2015.
Voges was formally unveiled on Thursday as the coach of WA and also the Perth Scorchers in the Big Bash League, having previously served as state and Scorchers captain in a long and effective partnership with Langer since late 2012. The other candidates for the job had been Langer's assistant Kade Harvey and another former WA batsman in Simon Katich.
Since the end of his Test career in late 2016, Voges served out his contracts with Middlesex and the Scorchers while also dabbling in broadcasting. A lack of coaching experience was not seen as a barrier to Voges succeeding Langer, given the experienced support network of Harvey, Geoff Marsh, Wayne Andrews and David Fitzgerald will remain.
"I'm thrilled about leading this group of exciting young players. We already have strong foundations in WA and I'm looking forward to building on them, the values, the structures and the people are all excellent," Voges said. "The high performance staff are some of the best in the country, even in the world. I've worked with them as a player and captain for a long time and know I couldn't do this role as well without their support.
"The next step to take WA forward is to grow our program and build depth in young local cricketers. We've had some terrific success in white-ball cricket over the past few seasons and we've seen some great inclusions into the Australian team, but to keep our program strong we need to build depth in the next wave of WA cricketers. The focus for this year is very much improving our red-ball cricket and making sure we're right up there in the Sheffield Shield."
WA's success under Langer has led to the challenge of finding more players capable of representing the state and also the Scorchers, something underlined by the fact that no fewer than six Warriors - Ashton Agar, Shan Marsh, Jhye Richardson, D'Arcy Short, Marcus Stoinis and Andrew Tye - were included in the 15-man squad to play in England in June, with Mitchell Marsh only missing due to injury. New South Wales, by contrast, had only one player included - Nathan Lyon.
The WACA chief executive Christina Matthews described the choice of Voges as a natural progression from Langer. "We're thrilled to have Adam heading up our WA men's program, it was the natural progression to appoint Adam after Justin left," she said. "As captain, Adam played a huge role in helping to develop the culture that has delivered us considerable success over the past few years.
"Adam has an understanding of all the players and we know he works well with the current staff. Adam has a playing group that believe in his brand of leadership, players who have followed him for many years and look up to him as a trusted mentor and friend.
"Keeping both the Scorchers and Warriors under the same head coach was a big win, it's worked well for us in the past and Adam can provide that consistency. The WACA Board and management have complete confidence in Adam and we look forward to watching him succeed in his new role."