Former Test allrounder and interim men’s head coach Andrew McDonald has now accepted the role as head coach on a full-time basis, signing a four-year contract earlier today.
McDonald has been working for Cricket Australia (CA) as assistant coach of the men’s side since 2019, boasting a decorated domestic coaching resume which included two Sheffield Shield titles and a One-Day Cup win for Victoria, along with guiding the Melbourne Renegades to success BBL|08.
“The journey so far has been particularly pleasing, and I am honoured to be given this incredible opportunity for what is an exciting period ahead,” he said.
“The success of the World Cup, the Ashes and now Pakistan has been testament to the hard work and leadership of Justin (Langer), Pat (Cummins) and Aaron (Finch) along with the players and the support staff.”
As a player, McDonald played four Tests against South Africa in 2009 and won numerous domestic titles with Victoria over a 15-year career that featured stints at South Australia, the Sydney Thunder and county side Leicestershire.
Following Justin Langer’s resignation in both acrimonious and controversial circumstances after January’s 4-0 home Ashes drubbing of England, McDonald has been at almost unbackable odds to take over the top job.
Reports that Langer’s management style was “abrasive” and “not the style” that the players wanted led to Test skipper Pat Cummins throwing his support behind McDonald following the Test team’s recent 1-0 series win in Pakistan.
“He’s a great operator, the boys absolutely love him,” he said.
“(He’s) very diligent, very thorough, strategic, very organised.
“He’s a huge part of this tour win.”
With the Australian men’s team having no cricket scheduled until an all-formats tour of Sri Lanka in June, McDonald is expected to spend some time at home after an exhaustive schedule over the preceding six months.
CA General Manager of High Performance and Teams Ben Oliver said the new coach would be given a break from some overseas tours, after McDonald flagged concerns over the international workload.
“Andrew has been appointed as head coach in all formats, although some white ball series may be led by an assistant given the significant workload ahead and the opportunity to continue to develop our coaches and players,” Oliver said.
McDonald is yet to confirm his coaching team, although it widely expected there will be no changes from the current set-up.