Nielsen, SACA part ways after 'disappointing' season

Decade-long tenure as South Australia's GM ends with men's team languishing in last spot in both men's competitions this season

The SACA has announced cricket general manager Tim Nielsen will finish the role at the end of the Shield campaign following a disappointing season for South Australia.

The decision to mutually part ways comes after the Redbacks finished the Marsh One-Day Cup season in last position with a 1-5 record while the Shield side also currently holds the same ladder position with a 2-6 record.

The Scorpions finished the WNCL season in second-last position with a 4-8 record.

The former Australia men’s team head coach and ex-Redbacks cricketer was appointed to the role of general manager of high performance in 2014.

During Nielsen’s tenure, the Adelaide Strikers secured the BBL|07, WBBL|08 and WBBL|09 titles, the SA Scorpions delivered a maiden WNCL Championship in 2015 and South Australia made back-to-back Sheffield Shield Finals in 2015-16 and 2016-17 and back-to-back WNCL Finals in 2021-22 and 2022-23, as well as One-Day Cup Finals in 2015-16, 2017-18 and 2022-23.

Nielsen said it "feels like the right time for renewal", having been appointed to the role of GM after three years in charge of the Emerging Redbacks program.

"Ten years is a long time and I’m especially grateful for the many highs I have been fortunate to experience along the way. We always want to win more, but I am comfortable that I have given everything I can with my staff in the pursuit of consistently competitive teams at the domestic level and producing players that contribute to our national teams on the international stage," Nielsen said in a statement from the SACA.

"I will always be proud of the achievements shared with the playing group and I am grateful for the support I have enjoyed over the years.

"While you'd always prefer to end on a high, it feels like the right time for renewal, both for the SACA and for me personally.  

"The SACA has been a significant part of my life for a long period and will be always part of my me. I will forever be grateful for the playing, coaching and administrative opportunities I have been afforded, and I hope that South Australian cricket can develop to the stage where we dominate the male and female game for a period of consistent success."

Nielsen coached Australia for four years before arriving at Adelaide Oval where the former wicketkeeper also played a large chunk of his 101 first-class matches and 51 list A fixtures for South Australia.

The English-born 2009 Champions Trophy winning coach with Australia was also a part of South Australia's last Shield title in 1996 where he scored one of his four first-class centuries in that season. 

SACA president William Rayner paid tribute to Nielsen, alluding to his significant contribution to cricket in the state and the role he has played in the development of national representatives.

“Tim is widely respected, not just for his years of service, but for the passion and energy he has brought to his position and to the game of cricket,” Rayner said.

“Tim transitioned from a Sheffield Shield winning player with South Australia to state and national coaching roles, and the management of our High-Performance Program. He has been a key figure in the emergence of players such as Travis Head, Darcie Brown, Alex Carey and Tahlia McGrath, on top of three Big Bash titles and some famous victories.”

The SACA will undertake a global search process to appoint a replacement for Nielsen, who will continue in the role until the conclusion of the 2023-24 season.