Melbourne, July 14 (IANS) Cricket Australia announced on Thursday that former Victorian fast bowler David Saker has been appointed the assistant coach of the Australian team.
Currently the head coach of the Victorian Bushrangers and Melbourne Renegades, Saker played 72 first-class matches for Victoria from 1994 to 2001 and then played with Tasmania until 2003, taking a career total of 247 wickets at an average of 30.10.
Australia head coach Darren Lehmann said that Saker would bring a wealth of knowledge with him.
“David’s experience working around the world with international teams will be invaluable, especially as we work toward the upcoming Indian Test series and the Ashes. His technical expertise in all facets of the game is a real bonus and very important when working with the young group we have,” Lehmann was quoted as saying in a statement.
Lehmann said it was an extensive recruitment process.
“We spoke with a lot of people about this role and really took our time deciding what direction we wanted to go. David’s appointment gives us good clarity in our senior coaching group. What impressed me most about David was his vision of where he is heading as a coach and also where he wants to take our young group of bowlers and players,” he added.
“He and I have always had robust discussions about the good of Australian cricket, he is passionate and I appreciate that. I love his attitude and he will bring great energy to our group.”
Saker said he was honoured to be appointed to the position.
“The opportunity to work with Australia’s best cricketers and coaches is one that I simply couldn’t pass up and I am incredibly excited. With two day-night Tests against South Africa and Pakistan this summer, it’s a great time to enter the Australian set-up,” he said.
“Having reflected on the role and spoken to my family, I feel that it is the next logical career step for me and that I can add more value at the national level, particularly next year with the ICC Champions Trophy in the UK and when England tour for the 2017-18 Ashes,” he added.
“I’ve thoroughly enjoyed the past year with the Bushrangers and will miss the squad, especially as we managed to retain the Sheffield Shield. I have no doubt I’ll still be regular contact with many of the players I’ve coached when they play at the national level.”
Saker will commence in his duties ahead of the tour of South Africa in late September.