Image courtesy of: ESPNcricinfo
New South Wales head coach Trevor Bayliss will coach Australia during their Twenty20 series against South Africa in November.
The Twenty20 series takes place only days after the baggy greens return from their tour of the United Arab Emirates, where they will play Pakistan.
“I’m very grateful for the opportunity to work with some of Australia’s best T20 players,” Bayliss said. “Of course it will be hard to leave New South Wales at the start of the season, but I’m very much looking forward to this opportunity and know that the Blues will be well looked after while I’m away.”
Cricket Australia’s general manager of team performance Pat Howard revealed that the decision was taken in order to give regular Australia head coach Darren Lehmann a chance to prepare for all the series in the summer and the 2015 World Cup as well.
“With Lehmann in the UAE focused on the Test matches, we have appointed Trevor to focus on the Australian T20 team to give them the best chance of winning the T20 international series against South Africa,” Howard said. “At the same time, on his return Darren will be able to refocus on bringing the ODI team together in a very big year for 50-over cricket.
“Darren will have had the Zimbabwe tri-series and the UAE tour against Pakistan in quick succession immediately before the biggest ever summer of cricket in Australia, so it’s important he has some time to prepare for each series. By appointing an experienced coach such as Trevor to prepare this team he will have longer to bring the team together to compete against South Africa.
“The summer finishes with the World Cup which is then closely followed by a tour of West Indies and then an Ashes tour. The dual benefit of this decision is that it presents a great opportunity for Trevor to work with the Australian team and is another example of Australian cricket working collectively as ‘one team’.”
Bayliss has plenty of international coaching experience, but is mostly known for the four years he spent as head coach of Sri Lanka.
“Trevor has obviously coached at international level before and more recently has coached New South Wales to a Sheffield Shield title,” Howard said. “He has won the BBL and Champions League Twenty20 with the Sixers and an IPL title with Kolkata, so we know that while Darren is away the team will be in good hands.”
Lehmann agreed with Howard’s views about the team being “in good hands”, and added: “Trevor is a very good coach with international experience and has led NSW and the Sydney Sixers extremely well so I have no worries handing the team over to him; the players might actually enjoy having a different voice for these matches.
“Given the schedule, it’s also likely that Australia’s key Test players won’t be part of those opening T20 matches, giving them time to get ready and prepare for the one-day and Tests that follow.”