Shane Warne has inquired with Cricket Australia about coaching possibilities with the Australian team and expressed interest in linking with the national side for February’s Twenty20 series against Sri Lanka when many of the country’s leading players will already be in India preparing for a Test series.
CA on Wednesday confirmed that the leg-spin great made contact with Pat Howard, the organisation’s executive general manager of team performance, to throw his hat in the ring, particularly with that Twenty20 series in Australia in mind.
Shane Warne was unimpressed with Mark Nicholas, alleging his fellow commentator put the mockers on David Warner when he was dismissed for 97.
“We are speaking to a number of people about the prospect of coaching the KFC T20 international squad against Sri Lanka as our Bupa support team head coach and assistant coach, Darren Lehmann and David Saker respectively, will be in India. At this stage no decision has been made on an appointment,” a CA spokesman said.
Due to a scheduling clash, that three-match series will take place in Adelaide, Geelong and Melbourne days before Australia’s four-match Test campaign in India begins. As a result, the likes of Steve Smith, David Warner and Mitchell Starc will be unavailable for the short-form internationals against Sri Lanka, which will close out the home summer, as will Lehmann and his staff.
Whether Warne would be parachuted in as an interim head coach is unclear although it appears more likely that someone like Jason Gillespie, the successful former Yorkshire coach who is now back in Australia leading Adelaide Strikers in the Big Bash League, would take over the top job for those matches.
Warne could be brought on instead as an assistant, with Howard understood to be weighing a more entry-level role for the 47-year-old to be brought into the Australian system, similar to the way in which former players Ryan Harris and Brad Haddin have been added to the staff for next year’s one-day tour of New Zealand.
Whatever his capacity however, having Warne on hand to mentor players – particularly in the absence of senior members of the squad and the coaching staff for the series against Sri Lanka in February – is something CA is seriously considering.
A former captain-coach of Rajasthan Royals in the Indian Premier League, Warne has joined the Australian set-up under Lehmann before, but only as a consultant. His time with the national side included the tour of South Africa in 2014, which preceded the World T20 tournament in Bangladesh. (The Age.com.au)