Mark Sorell, who has coached the Australian women's team since 2005, has been given the task of lifting South Australia out of their form slump next season. Sorell was named the new coach of the Redbacks, taking over from Wayne Phillips, who quit after a disappointing 2006-07 in which South Australia won only one Pura Cup match.
Sorell has no first-class playing experience but is well-known within the Redbacks camp, having worked with the South Australian Cricket Association in game development and elite high performance roles before taking his position with the women's team. Sorell, 41, has been appointed for two seasons and as well as working with a group of players who struggled in 2006-07, he will have to help a new captain find his feet after the resignation of Darren Lehmann.
A wicketkeeper-batsman in Adelaide club cricket, Sorell did not make the next step as a player but coached the Glenelg club for six years and the South Australia Scorpions in the Women's National Cricket League from 2002 to 2004. Since taking over as the Australia women's coach, he has led the side to 17 victories from 21 ODIs.
Sorell beat a field of about 30 applicants for the role with South Australia, believed to include Jamie Siddons, the state's former captain. Sorell said success would naturally flow for the Redbacks if they "do the basic things right". "I'm not going to be setting too many targets, because it would just be a long way to fall if I did," he told The Advertiser.
Rod Marsh, the SACA high performance director, said Sorell was clearly the best candidate for the job. "Mark has a great deal of knowledge in both local and international cricket, and his recent experience with the Southern Stars has given him valuable exposure to elite coaching methods," Marsh said. "He will be a successful first class coach and we are looking forward to him taking the Redbacks forward."
Kim Harris, the former South Australia batsman, has also joined the Redbacks as a specialist batting coach. Harris has worked extensively with Cullen Bailey since 2003 to help Bailey graduate from a No. 11 to being a potential allrounder.