Former allrounder Shelley Nitschke has been named assistant coach as Australia’s women’s team ramp up preparations for two World T20s across the next two years.
Nitschke, who was part of Australia’s coaching staff on the recent Commonwealth Bank Tour of India, will work full-time with the national team alongside head coach Matthew Mott while also supporting former national teammate Leah Poulton to develop the next generation of players in the Women’s National Performance Squad.
Former Australian and Queensland player Ashley Noffke will also work alongside Mott and Nitschke as an assistant coach on all domestic and international tours, as well as high performance camps.
Nitschke, considered one of Australia’s greatest allrounders, played 122 international matches, collecting 153 wickets before retiring at the peak of her powers – ranked the world’s No.1 allrounder and bowler – in 2011.
She was named ICC Women’s Cricketer of the Year in 2010 and claimed the Belinda Clark Award as Australia Women’s Cricketer of the Year on an incredible four occasions.
Since her retirement, Nitschke has been involved in various coaching roles with South Australia, Adelaide Strikers and Cricket Australia, while she also briefly came out of retirement in 2015 to don the Strikers blue in the inaugural season of the Rebel WBBL.
Alongside Mott and Noffke, she will oversee a crucial period for the Southern Stars that will include this November’s World T20 in the Caribbean, an away Ashes next year and a home World T20 in early 2020.
“I’m delighted to have Shelley and Ashley join the coaching group for the next two years, they both bring extensive playing experience to the group which will be invaluable,” Mott said
“I'm looking forward to seeing them build on the strong foundation that (former assistants) Joe Dawes and Tim Coyle have laid.
“Shelley has an impressive coaching resume and had a really positive impact on the group during the tour to India. She knows the women’s game inside out and is a great asset for our programs.”
With the assistance of Nitschke and Noffke, Australia completed a near-flawless tour of India in March, whitewashing the hosts 3-0 before triumphing in the T20I tri-series that also featured England – setting the highest-ever total in women’s T20s in the process.
There, Nitschke made a big impact on the Australian players – many of whom had grown up idolising the South Australian.
"She's definitely an idol of mine, a top-order left-hand batter," Australia opener Nicole Bolton said at the beginning of the India tour.
"What better person to learn from? Her experience as a spinner, particularly being in India with our spinners, has been instrumental for our planning.
"She's a laidback character and we're really fortunate to have her involved."
Nitschke is expected to continue her role as Strikers assistant coach in WBBL|04.
Australia will begin their 2018-19 summer with three T20 Internationals against New Zealand starting on 29 September ahead of the World Twenty20 campaign in November.
All Commonwealth Bank Women’s International Matches will be broadcast live on Channel Seven and Fox Sports.