New Australia men’s cricket team head coach Andrew McDonald has said that coaches are appointed to provide a healthy and competitive environment, and that he would like to give players the best opportunity to grow and flourish.
McDonald — who had a short stint as interim coach of the Australian men’s team after Justin Langer stepped down weeks before the Pakistan tour — was handed a four-year contract by Cricket Australia (CA), and the 40-year-old former Test player said that he would also like to give assistant coaches in his team to lead on some white-ball assignments.
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According to reports, Langer’s position as coach had become shaky in August last year after players and support staff had made their dislike known of his “volatile micromanagement style". It was reportedly one of the reasons that CA was willing to give him only a six-month contract renewal, which the 51-year-old rejected and decided to step down.
Several current players, including white-ball skipper Aaron Finch, wanted a coach willing to take a collaborative approach, and McDonald emerged as the frontrunner.
McDonald told sen.com.au that he was ready to take a step back if the players or his assistant coaches had better insight into a certain areas of the game.
“To give players the best opportunity to grow and learn in your environment, I think that’s what a coach is there to do help the players prepare, give them the best options possible and watch them grow as people and players," said McDonald on SEN 1170 The Run Home.
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“I think that’s what success looks like, are you going to get that right all the time? Potentially not, but you can have a crack at it. That’s all I want people to talk about is that they improved in the environments that were created.
“There will be times when assistant coaches take leads in certain white ball tours, that’s definitely in the pipeline. You’re growing the coaches within your staff as well; you’re giving them opportunities to lead and give them different challenges and they feel as though they’ll be moving forward in that environment.
“It’s about improving everyone along the journey."
After the gruelling month-long Pakistan tour, McDonald’s first assignment as full-time coach will come when Australia tour Sri Lanka in June for a multi-format series.
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