Craig McDermott has played a pivotal role in the emergence and reemergence of Australia’s pace battery © Getty Images
Australia’s assistant coach Craig McDermott has opted not to renew his contract, which expires on May 2016. Instead, he will focus on his cricket academy, which has centres throughout Queensland, New South Wales and Victoria. This means that the World Twenty20 in India, starting from March 8, will be McDermott’s last assignment with Australia. A replacement for the departing McDermott will be named in due course.
“Looking ahead I’ve decided that the time is right to really focus on my academy business which is continuing to grow as well as pursuing some other business opportunities I have away from the game,” McDermott explained. “And if time presents, I’ll also look at some coaching consultancy work in various competitions around the world.
“I will certainly miss the Australian team, and wish the players and coaches every success in the future.”
McDermott’s exit follows that of batting coach Michael Di Venuto, who recently joined Surrey as their new head coach. McDermott’s first stint with Australia began in May 2011, when he replaced Troy Cooley as Australia’s bowling coach, following their 3-1 Ashes defeat at home. Citing heavy workload and packed schedules, however, McDermott stepped down from the post after 12 months. He was later roped in for the same role on the eve of the home Ashes in 2013-14, which Australia swept 5-0.
Later, in May 2014, he signed a two-year deal as the assistant coach in a role that increased his remit to cover major tours across formats. McDermott was instrumental in the ascent of Australia’s pace battery, including Mitchell Starc, Josh Hazlewood and James Pattinson.
McDermott, who guided the bowling attack to Ashes glory, a Test series win in South Africa, as well as the World Cup title, hoped that he would sign off by helping Australia clinch their maiden World T20 title.
“I’ve thoroughly enjoyed my time working for Cricket Australia, starting at what was then the Centre of Excellence many years ago, then working with the Australian men’s team,” McDermott said.
“It’s been a thrill to have been able to help the players reach their potential, and to see them achieve such feats as the 5-0 Ashes win at home, defeating South Africa in South Africa and winning last year’s World Cup. I’d love nothing more than to finish this stint with victory in the World T20 in India.”
Australia coach Darren Lehmann paid tribute to his right-hand man McDermott. “Craig has made a fantastic contribution to the success of the Australian team,” Lehmann said.
“Our bowlers have benefited enormously from his experience and insight and they are all better cricketers thanks to his coaching and hard work. In particular he has played a key role in developing our young group of fast bowlers including Mitchell Starc, Josh Hazlewood, James Pattinson, Pat Cummins and Nathan Coulter-Nile. While he leaves big shoes to fill, we respect his decision to spend more time working with his academy which he has a great passion for. We wish him the best of luck and thank him for contribution to the Australian team.”
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Source: ESPN Crickinfo