Cricket Australia’s general manager of team performance Pat Howard has signed a two-year contract extension.
Howard will continue in the position until at least 2019, CA announced today.
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"Pat is a dynamic, passionate executive and the board and I are delighted that he has agreed to extend his term as Cricket Australia’s Executive General Manager of Team Performance until 2019," CA chief executive James Sutherland said in a statement.
"He has led the evolution of a new team performance structure and success-driven culture for both men's and women's cricket in Australia and we see his ongoing contribution as integral to our future plans.
“I wish Pat and our teams well as they look forward to continued improvement and, in the short term, success in the UK at the ICC Champions Trophy and Women's World Cup.”
A former rugby union player who played 20 games for the Wallabies, Howard was appointed to the newly created high performance position on a recommendation of the 2011 Argus review.
Howard’s re-signing sees his contract length align with national men’s team head coach Darren Lehmann, who last year had his own contract extended through to after the 2019 Ashes and one-day international World Cup, while national women's head coach Matthew Mott penned a new three-year deal that will see him through to 2020 earlier this year.
Speaking on his re-appointment, Howard reiterated his goal was to see Australia’s national men and women’s sides become the top-ranked teams across all formats.
"Firstly, I would like to thank the Cricket Australia board and all those at Cricket Australia for their support, and allowing me to continue in my role for the next two years,” he said.
"In sport there is always highs and lows but if I was to reflect, I am particularly pleased with how much our pathways and talent identification systems have grown, with more than 300 contracted male and female players, as well as the coaching pathway for coaches in Australian Cricket.
"The cricket landscape is changing rapidly and the need to continue to adapt will be important, this means there is still a lot to achieve. What the previous 12 months has shown is that we have a lot of talent and depth in the system to be ready for these changes.
"The goal hasn’t changed, we want to be number one in all three formats across men’s and women’s cricket."
Since his last two-year extension in 2015, Australia’s men’s Test team have risen to No.1 in the world while the national women’s side have remained on top of the rankings, which encompass all three formats.
Howard's most notable challenge came after the men’s Test side slumped to their fifth consecutive defeat, whitewashed in Sri Lanka in 2016 and then losing the subsequent home series to South Africa, prompting chairman of selectors Rod Marsh to resign last November.
Howard however praised captain Steve Smith and his deputy David Warner for their resilience through that period, and for subsequently turning the side’s fortunes around.
"You don't shy away from five Test losses in a row," Howard told ABC Grandstand in December.
"The test of people is when they're under pressure. I've got to give the captain a massive wrap here.
"He's stepped up significantly, with the help of his vice-captain (David Warner) as well, they've really taken a strong lead.
"Steve has grown in this space and gone ‘this is my team now’. He deserves a lot of credit around that, but with his other senior players (as well) – the Hazlewoods, the Starcs, Davey Warner."