KFC T20 INTLs v Sri Lanka
Warne puts hand up for T20 coaching gig
Spin great Shane Warne keen to lead Aussies in three-match T20 series against Sri Lanka in February
9 November 2016, 02:05 PM AEST
Test legend Shane Warne has thrown his hand up to coach Australia’s T20 team in February next year while full-time mentor Darren Lehmann and the Test outfit prepare to take on India.
While Warne is believed to have made contact with Cricket Australia Head of Team Performance Pat Howard about the T20 role, which is currently vacant for the three-match series against Sri Lanka in late February, the coveted role is expected to go elsewhere.
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The coaching opportunity has become available due to a clash in schedules that will see Australia play their final KFC T20 INTL against Sri Lanka in Adelaide on 21 February and the first Test of the Qantas Tour of India in Pune the following day.
“We are speaking to a number of people about the prospect of coaching the T20 international side during Sri Lanka Series due to Darren Lehmann and David Saker being in India. At this stage no decision has been made,” a Cricket Australia spokesperson said.
Recently retired champions Ryan Harris and Brad Haddin will travel to New Zealand in late January 2017 for the Chappell-Hadlee series to assist Lehmann while full-time assistants David Saker and Graeme Hick head to India early to begin preparation for the four-Test series.
Both Harris and Haddin already have experience in the coaching pathway since stepping away from international cricket last year.
Harris was involved with Australia’s Under-19 championships earlier this year and just last month travelled to South Africa for the ODI tour alongside Saker.
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Haddin spent two weeks with Australia A this July-August as an assistant coach, working with young Western Australia gloveman Sam Whiteman in Queensland.
The 39-year-old still has a close connection with the current crop of players and will turn out for the Sydney Sixers in the KFC Big Bash League this summer.
Former captain Ricky Ponting admitted "there has been a few inquiries" speaking about the vacancy last month, but refused to confirm he had the job.
"Darren (Lehmann) will be away with that (Test) team, so they will need someone to coach the Australia T20 team here in Australia," Ponting told Triple M's Rush Hour.
"I'm not saying that's me ... Let's wait and see over the next few months and there will be an announcement I'm sure."
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Ponting remains a solid fan favourite some four years after his international retirement, and has proven coaching pedigree in the Twenty20 format having guided the Mumbai Indians to the Indian Premier League title in his maiden season.
He would also have extensive knowledge of the best performers in the BBL from his role in Network 10's commentary team.
Other contenders for the role include Adelaide Strikers coach Jason Gillespie, Strikers captain and Cricket Australia XI coach Brad Hodge and former Australia batsman Michael Hussey, who has spent time off and on with national team in a consultancy role since his retirement in 2012.
Warne captain-coached defunct Indian Premier League team Rajasthan Royals to the title in 2008 and was brought in as a consultant for the T20 leg of the 2014 tour of South Africa that preceded the World T20 tournament in Bangladesh.