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Australia’s ODI World Cup and Ashes preparations have been rocked by a surprise move, after Cricket Australia announced the immediate resignation of fast bowling coach David Saker.
Interim high performance manager Belinda Clark today announced it “became clear to both of us that this was the right time for David to step away,” after discussions with Saker about “the needs of the team, and the unprecedented schedule ahead.”
“We will provide further information on the coaching structure surrounding the World Cup and Ashes in due course.”
Saker attracted controversy last month after it emerged he’d “exploded” at the side’s fast bowling contingent after a tough day against India at the SCG.
In an ESPN Cricinfo piece, Mitchell Starc raised eyebrows when he claimed he turned to NSW bowling coach Andre Adams for advice during the Sri Lanka series.
“Before the Sri Lanka series, I had a really nice session with Andre … putting the rest of the coaching and the other 450 coaches I’ve had over the past three weeks to the side.
“I am my own best coach and I know what’s best for me,” he told Cricinfo.
However, Justin Langer claimed discussions about the 52-year-old’s future had been ongoing for some time.
“David and I have had ongoing discussions over the past nine months about his role with the team, and we agreed it’s the right time to head in a different direction in the best interests of the team.”
“I’d like to thank David for his significant contribution, in particular in the role he has played in helping develop a core group of Australian pace bowlers.”
“I wish David all the best for the next chapter in his coaching career.”
Saker played nine seasons in first-class domestic Australian cricket, playing the majority of his career with Victoria before finishing up at Tasmania.
His role as fast bowling coach for England was regarded as pivotal in their 2010-11 Ashes triumph, before he returned to Australia in 2015 to coach the Melbourne Renegades and eventually end up with the national role in 2016.
Troy Cooley has been announced as his replacement for the upcoming ODI series against India and Pakistan.