Anthony Stuart, the former Australian fast bowler, has been appointed coach of the New South Wales state team, after Matthew Mott departed from the role at the end of the summer. Other applicants for the role included Mott's predecessor Trevor Bayliss, who enjoyed a successful stint as coach of Sri Lanka before choosing to return home to Australia following the World Cup.
"I am extremely honoured to get the opportunity to coach the Blues," said Stuart, 41. "There is an excellent blend of experience and young talent within the squad and I look forward to working with an exciting group of players that are well placed to compete in the domestic competitions."
Stuart shone brightly but briefly in his first-class and international careers, claiming a hat-trick against Pakistan at the MCG in 1997 in what turned out to be his final ODI appearance, before going on to a lengthy coaching apprenticeship. Most recently he has worked in New Zealand as the coach of Wellington, also presiding over the New Zealand A side in that time.
Wellington's results over the five-year period were decidedly mixed, not harvesting a single trophy, and Stuart was removed from the post in February. However, one of his players at Wellington, Iain O'Brien, said Stuart was a thoroughly professional coach who lost a lot of his best players to New Zealand duties.
"He is the most organised, most meticulous in preparation of any coach I've had," O'Brien told ESPNcricinfo. "He had a tough old time of it in Wellington, lost a lot of players to NZ duty at times and that left the stocks pretty light. During Stuey's time Andy McKay and Luke Woodcock debuted for NZ, not all coaches can say they've worked and developed players into internationals."
Stuart also impressed during the interview process for a job that will focus on the Blues' Sheffield Shield and domestic limited-overs teams. There is a slight chance that Stuart will also be called on to coach one of the two NSW Twenty20 teams in next summer's expanded Big Bash League.
David Gilbert, the chief executive of Cricket NSW, said Stuart's time in New Zealand had "served him well".
"His passion, determination and disciplined approach to coaching will greatly benefit NSW," Gilbert said. "Further, his acute knowledge of Cricket NSW's programs, and his intense desire for success, made him the ideal person to lead our young and talented squad."