Marsh Sheffield Shield 2019-20
Siddons splits with SACA, Blewett steps into the breach
South Australia has parted ways with head coach Jamie Siddons ahead of the final round of this summer's Sheffield Shield competition
11 March 2020, 05:39 PM AEST
South Australia are searching for a new coach after it was confirmed tonight they are parting ways with former favourite son, Jamie Siddons, after his five seasons at the helm.
SA Cricket Association Chief Executive Keith Bradshaw announced late today the decision was made by "mutual agreement" and would be effective immediately.
"Unfortunately the Redbacks have not been performing to our expectations in recent seasons," Bradshaw said in a statement.
"We acknowledge that the Redbacks played in consecutive Sheffield Shield finals in Jamie's first two seasons as head coach, and also played in One-Day Cup finals in 2015-16 and 2017-18.
"I also know that Jamie is very proud that South Australia has had several players represent Australia across all three formats in recent months.
"On behalf of SACA, the Board, management and staff I would like to thank Jamie for his efforts as coach and, over a longer period, his outstanding service to South Australian cricket."
Siddons, who played 82 Sheffield Shield matches for the Redbacks between 1991 and 2000 and captained them to their most recent title in 1995-96, was appointed coach in 2015 having previously worked as assistant coach with Australia's men's team and head coach of Bangladesh.
However, despite taking SA to consecutive Shield finals in his first two seasons at the helm, the Redbacks have finished bottom of the ladder in the previous two seasons and currently occupy last place with one match of the current summer remaining.
Siddons' future became a talking point late last year when it was announced the 55-year-old would take a break from the job for personal reasons, during which time his former SA teammate and ex-Australia assistant coach Greg Blewett took over the reins.
That change coincided with SA ending an 18-match streak without a win when Blewett oversaw a six-wicket win over Tasmania in Hobart.
But despite another win (against Western Australia) in the first game after the mid-season break, SA fell to consecutive hefty losses against New South Wales and Victoria that were characterised by regular top-order batting failures.
Blewett will fill-in as coach for the Redbacks' final Shield game against Queensland at Adelaide's Karen Rolton Oval starting next Tuesday, but it is understood his ongoing media commitments mean he is not interested in taking on the job full-time.
Among the candidates who have been touted as a possible replacement for Siddons, who despite also leading SA to two finals of Australia's domestic one-day competition ends his tenure without a winners' trophy, are former Redbacks Jason Gillespie, Ryan Harris and Michael Klinger.
Former Test fast bowler Gillespie is currently coach of Adelaide Strikers in the KFC Big Bash League and has a year to run on his contract with England county outfit, Sussex.
Harris, who left SA for Queensland where he established himself as leader of Australia's Test bowling attack, is currently working as a high-performance coach at the Bupa National Cricket Centre in Brisbane while Klinger, who captained SA from 2010 to 2012 recently completed his first campaign as coach of Melbourne Renegades in the BBL.