Former Test batsman Greg Blewett has joined the growing list of ex-players called upon to help coach Australia, having been named as a fielding consultant for their next two tours. Blewett will work with the Australians for the one-day tri-series in Zimbabwe and for their matches against Pakistan in the UAE.
Australia have not had a permanent fielding coach since Steve Rixon left the support staff in January, although before the home summer they had appointed Mike Young on a short-term contract. The inclusion of Blewett continues the trend under head coach Darren Lehmann of bringing in ex-players as short-term consultants, tapping a wider knowledge base than may otherwise be the case.
Shane Warne was named as a spin consultant for Australia's World Twenty20 campaign earlier this year and worked with the side in South Africa ahead of the tournament. Muttiah Muralitharan was appointed as a coaching consultant in June in an effort to help Australia's spinners maximise their success against Pakistan in the UAE, and now he will be joined on the staff by Blewett.
"Greg was a brilliant fielder in his playing days and he will bring some fresh advice and ideas as well as a new voice for the players to hear from which is important for everyone's development," Lehmann said. "It will be great to have him on board in Zimbabwe and the UAE."
Although Blewett has spent much of his post-cricket career in the commentary box, he recently completed a level three coaching accreditation and worked with Australia A and the National Performance Squad at the National Cricket Centre in Brisbane. Blewett said he was keen to help the Australians hone their fielding, especially with a World Cup coming up.
"I think Australia has built a good reputation for its fielding over the years and I'm looking forward to maintaining those high standards and hopefully continuing to improve," Blewett said. "That's always the goal.
"I'm really excited to be involved, particularly with a World Cup on the horizon and hopefully having some small impact. I'm also looking forward to the opportunity to work with Darren and the other great coaches that are part of the team setup, it should be fun."
Australia's first match in Zimbabwe is against the hosts on August 25. Their UAE tour starts with a T20 against Pakistan on October 5.