Australia confirm Nitschke as full-time women's coach

''While I enjoyed my time working as an assistant coach, I feel the time is right to step up and lead this group in what's shaping as a new era with a new-look coaching group and the retirement of Rachael Haynes,'' the 45-year-old said on ICC website.
Representative image
Representative image

MELBOURNE: Former allrounder Shelley Nitschke has been handed a four-year contract as head coach of the Australian women's team, Cricket Australia said on Tuesday.

In her role as an interim coach, Nitschke guided Australia to a historic Commonwealth Games gold medal after the team registered a narrow win over India in the finals of the first-ever women's cricket competition at the quadrennial event last month.

An assistant coach with Australia since 2018, Nitschke was in charge of the side since Matthew Mott left earlier this year.

''While I enjoyed my time working as an assistant coach, I feel the time is right to step up and lead this group in what's shaping as a new era with a new-look coaching group and the retirement of Rachael Haynes,'' the 45-year-old said on ICC website.

''The loss of Rach will no doubt be felt, but it presents a great opportunity for others to put their hands up both from a leadership perspective as well as with the bat and in the field.'' Her first assignment would be a T20I tour of India in December before taking on Pakistan at home in January. But the real big test for her would be to defend their title at next year's Women's T20 World Cup in South Africa.

''Our challenge is to ensure the team continues to evolve; we've seen teams like India take their game to the next level and it's important that the players feel they have the support they need to keep getting better every day,'' she said.

''Our team continues to go from strength to strength and I'm excited to see what this group can achieve next; there's some important cricket on the horizon including the ICC Women's T20 World Cup in February and away Ashes next winter, so it's a great time to be involved.'' A left-arm spin bowling allrounder, who retired in 2011, Nitschke has played more than 100 games for Australia. Overall, she has scored 3118 runs and claimed 153 wickets in 80 ODIs, 36 T20Is and six Tests.

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