Tigers sign bowling coach but lose high performance boss
Tigers and Hurricanes general manager of high performance, Simon Insley, has taken a new role with New Zealand as Rob Cassell joins Tasmania as men's bowling coach
19 May 2022, 02:28 PM AEST
The Hobart Hurricanes are now on the hunt for both a men's head coach and a high performance boss after Simon Insley decided to return to New Zealand to take up a position with the Black Caps.
Insley, Cricket Tasmania's general manager of high performance since October 2019, has accepted the role of Performance Manager with the New Zealand men's side, with his first assignment to be their white-ball tour of the of Ireland, Scotland and the Netherlands in June.
Insley oversaw both the male and female Tigers and Hurricanes programs, helping guide Tasmania to their first Women's National Cricket League title in March in one of his final achievements in the role.
English-born Insley joined Tasmania more than two years ago from Auckland Cricket where he was also high performance manger after seven years working across the sport in New Zealand, including as 2019 ICC Cricket World Cup assistant manager and managing NZ A during their 2018 UAE tour.
Cricket Tasmania said in a statement that it was with "mixed emotions" that they announced Insley's resignation given he had navigated Tasmania's cricket program through one of it most difficult periods due to COVID-19.
"Just like when a player or a coach gets called up to the national side, when any one of our staff gets called up for higher honours, it's a huge credit to both the individual and our organisation," chief executive Dominic Baker said.
Insley, who initially worked as a physiotherapist with Auckland Cricket before moving into team management, said it was a difficult decision to move on but joining the Black Caps was "ultimately a role (he) couldn't look past".
"I'm really proud of the work that all the players and staff have done to not only keep going through what's been a difficult period for global sport, but to continue to build the Tasmanian high performance program into one of the most desirable programs in the country," he said in a statement.
Cricket Tasmania also announced this week that Rob Cassell had been appointed men's bowling coach, which will bring him back into the fold of Australian cricket for the first time in five years after extensive experience abroad, including with Ireland and the Rajasthan Royals.
The 39-year-old played two first-class matches with Victoria in November 2002 before overcoming a genetic lower back issue that caused stabbing pains when he bowled to add another seven games to his tally with South Australia in 2010-11.
After finishing his career, Cassell turned to coaching where he played a key role in the development of a Redbacks attack featuring Joe Mennie, Kane Richardson, Daniel Worrall and Chadd Sayers, which led them to two consecutive Marsh Sheffield Shield finals in 2015-16 and 2016-17.
He also worked alongside new Tasmanian men's head coach Jeff Vaughan during his time at South Australia.
"I'm excited to get back into coaching within the Australian system and looking forward to this new challenge in Tasmania," Cassell said.
"Tasmania have one of the best bowling attacks on paper in the country, from proven international red-ball performers in Peter Siddle and Jackson Bird, to promising young fast bowling talent such as Riley Meredith, Nathan Ellis, Lawrence Neil-Smith and Gabe Bell."
Cassell will commence his tenure with the Tigers in June.
The Hurricanes are still yet to announce a new head coach after Adam Griffith stepped down following last season's KFC BBL.
In some good news for Cricket Tasmania, veteran seamer Bird will not require surgery on a shoulder injury that ruled him out of the remainder of his six-match county stint with Kent.
The 35-year-old left the field with a shoulder injury during Kent's clash with Hampshire last month and after seeing a specialist, was advised to return home to Australia to begin rehabilitation.