Nitschke named as Perth Scorchers coach
Shelley Nitschke will balance her duties as the Australia women's assistant coach with her new role as head coach of the Perth Scorchers
17 December 2019, 12:01 PM AEST
Australia women’s assistant coach and legendary allrounder Shelley Nitschke has been named the new head coach of the Perth Scorchers, signing on for the next two seasons of the Rebel Women’s Big Bash League.
Nitschke will take the reins from fellow former Australia player Lisa Keightley, who was appointed head coach of England’s women’s team ahead of the T20 World Cup in February.
The 43-year-old, a much-loved character among the Australian group, played 122 matches in green and gold, collecting 153 wickets and receiving the Belinda Clark Award as Australia’s best female cricketer on four occasions.
Since retiring from cricket in 2011, Nitschke has forged an impressive career as a high-performance coach, working in various roles with South Australia, the Adelaide Strikers and of course her current role as Australian assistant coach that she took on in early 2018.
The former left-arm spinner and allrounder believes the skills and knowledge she has developed along the way will equip her well for the top job with the Scorchers.
"I think I’m in a really fortunate position at the moment, I get to see the T20 games at both the national and domestic level and the skill set that is required to be successful in this format," Nitschke said.
"Hopefully I can pass on some of that knowledge to the team."
Under Keightley’s leadership, the Scorchers have been absent from just one Rebel WBBL finals series in the competition’s five-year history but never managed to take the trophy home to Perth.
"I will be looking to build on the great work Lisa (Keightley) has done with the Scorchers. They had a great 2019 WBBL season, making the semi-finals, so I will look at where we can get better to go the next step in the competition.
"Lisa has always spoken very highly of the WACA so I’m really looking forward to working with a new group of players and support staff, and Perth is a great place."
There is likely to be plenty of speculation swirling around the Scorchers’ setup in the WBBL off-season, with national captain Meg Lanning off contract and yet to make a decision on her future with the club after spending three seasons in orange.
"I haven't given it a lot of thought, to be honest," Lanning said ahead of the WBBL finals.
"I've just been focusing on trying to help Perth win games of cricket.
"Once we finish up here on the weekend … I'll have a think about what I'm going to do."