Australia’s interim cricket coach Andrew McDonald has said he hasn’t had any conversation with Cricket Australia (CA) regarding the vacant post of head coach after Justin Langer quit following disagreement over the renewal of his contract.
Within days of Langer quitting his job after CA offered him only a six-month contract extension, former cricketer McDonald was made interim coach for the month-long tour of Pakistan beginning with the Rawalpindi Test from March 4.
While Australia’s white-ball skipper Aaron Finch has thrown his weight behind McDonald to be given long-term charge of the side, CA has kept mum on the issue and is likely to take a call on a long-term coach while the team is on a month-long tour of the subcontinent.
Several names, including that of Trevor Bayliss and Gary Kirsten, among others, have cropped up for the post, but so far there is complete suspense on the issue. McDonald, though, is the front-runner for the job.
McDonald said that the debate on the vacant post will not distract the Test side in the upcoming three-Test series against Pakistan.
Asked if CA had contacted him to discuss the head coach’s job, MdDonald replied in the negative. “I haven’t had any conversations either way,” he was quoted as saying by cricket.com.au on Wednesday.
“It’s really just been bedding down the interim role until the end of Pakistan and getting to work on the preparations, getting to work on the team. I’m very happy with whatever timelines they (CA) want to work within. It won’t become a distraction; that will just be happening in the background. Our focus is firmly on the first Test in Rawalpindi (starting March 4) and preparation here.
“What happens with the process they run, and how that looks and where it fits in is entirely up to the (CA) admin base to work through. The coaching stuff is well and truly in the background for us here,” McDonald said.
McDonald added he hadn’t made up his mind either on whether he was interested in the head coach’s job sooner rather than later.
“Clearly I have to make a decision before that if the process is run to the timeline Cricket Australia are giving. We’ll work through it once we see what the job looks like. There’s been some speculation around split roles or whether it’s one coach, and that will all come out. But I think the key thing for us is to focus on cricket, and that’s what we’re here to do.
“We’ve got a big job in the next three days to get the preparation right, to get on that plane (to Pakistan) and make sure we get the preparation right when we land on the ground. You’ve got to start fast in a three-Test series, so no thought’s been given to that (coaching discussion) at all,” added McDonald.