Craig John McDermott
April 14, 1965, Raceview, Ipswich, Queensland
Also Known As
Right hand Bat
Right arm Fast
After bursting onto the scene as a 20-year-old in England in 1985, when he took 30 wickets in six Tests, Craig McDermott had a stop-start, injury-ravaged career (which included a twisted bowel and a broken ankle) but fought back to establish himself as Australia's premier strike bowler in the early 1990s. McDermott was not as fiery as his red hair suggested, nor did he capture the public imagination in the manner of Dennis Lillee or Shane Warne, but he was a textbook outswing bowler with a classic side-on action who could run through any batting order on his day. He was also a thumping batsman in his youth. Like all self-respecting Aussies, he saved his best for England, with 84 wickets in 17 Tests, including two eight-fors and eight of his 14 five-fors. His best performance was probably at Perth in 1990-91, when he took 8 for 97 as England collapsed from 191 for 2 to 244 all out. Injuries hit McDermott again towards the end of his career: he missed the best part of the 1993 Ashes tour, as well as the famous victory in the Caribbean in 1994-95 and the World Cup a year later.
After his playing days, McDermott returned to cricket in a coaching capacity, but not before enduring tough times off the field, as the failure of his real-estate business caused him to sell his home and declare bankruptcy. McDermott returned to cricket in late 2009, in a part-time capacity with Australia's Centre of Excellence. There he worked with several young Australian fast bowlers, including James Pattinson, Mitchell Starc and Josh Hazlewood, and was thus the best qualified to take over from Troy Cooley as Australia's bowling coach. McDermott took over that role in May 2011, and during his year charge the team, and especially their fast bowlers, achieved some fine results, including an utterly dominant performance in the home series against India. McDermott quit from his role as bowling coach in May 2012, citing the team's busy overseas schedule as the primary reason.
Greg Baum and ESPNcricinfo staff
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