SYDNEY, (Reuters) – Australia bowling coach Craig McDermott, who has been credited with turning his country’s pace attack into one of the most potent in the world, has signed a new two-year deal, Cricket Australia said yesterday.
The 49-year-old former paceman returned as Australia’s bowling coach ahead of last year’s home Ashes series against England, his second stint after working with the fast bowlers for a year starting May 2011.
Australia demolished England 5-0 at home and then won a series in South Africa to climb back to the top of the test rankings with the pace battery widely proclaimed as the best in the world.
“Craig has built a really strong rapport with the bowling group,” Cricket Australia’s team performance manager Pat Howard said in a statement.
“Combine that with the international experience and technical expertise, it has proved to be a successful combination in recent times and we’re keen to see that continue.” Since his return, McDermott has worked only with the test pacemen but in a new role will now also help out the limited-overs bowlers as Australia prepares to co-host the 50-overs World Cup with New Zealand next year.
“Craig will also do a bit more work with the limited overs players, along with Ali de Winter, as we head towards the World Cup early next year,” Howard added.
“As part of his role he will be closely connected to the work being done at the National Cricket Centre to ensure he is aligned to also developing players for the future.”
Mitchell Johnson and Ryan Harris have been Australia’s standout bowlers during their recent success, with the reliable Peter Siddle, young gun James Pattinson and spinner Nathan Lyon also making telling contributions.
McDermott, who took 291 wickets in 71 tests for Australia, said the goal would be to maintain the good work with a home series against India coming up, followed by next year’s World Cup and the Ashes in England.
“I feel like we’ve got a really good group at the moment,” he said.
“It’s really been great to build this close bond with them all – the boys call it the fast bowling cartel, but we also let Nathan Lyon in – and we’re all really motivated to keep that going.
“I’m also looking forward to taking on more responsibility and to work closely with Darren Lehmann (head coach) to broaden my coaching skills and, alongside Michael Di Venuto (batting coach), to ensure we’re a well-oiled coaching unit.”