Australia reinstates specialist fielding coach

Cricket Australia has reinstated Mike Young as specialist fielding coach to help restore Australia's feilding skills.

india Updated: Oct 04, 2005 17:51 IST

Cricket Australia has reinstated Mike Young as specialist fielding coach, rushing the American back from a minor league baseball team in time for the Super Series starting this week.

Head coach John Buchanan, heavily criticized for not using specialist fielding and bowling coaches in the recent Ashes series loss to England, has asked Young to help restore Australia's fielding skills.

Young, who coached Australia to victory over Cuba in the 1999 Intercontinental Cup final, was back supervising drills with the Australian cricketers on Monday, helping them prepare for the first of three one-day matches against the World XI in Melbourne. He was considered instrumental in helping Australia win the 2003 limited-overs World Cup, but wasn't invited to tour England for the Ashes.

Instead, he returned to the United States to work with the Rockford Riverhawks in the Frontier league.

"I would have loved to have gone to England, but it wasn't in the plans at that point," Young told Australian Associated Press. "I had to keep working, so I went over to America ... It's great to be back."

Cricket Australia is reviewing the performance of Buchanan and the national team in the 2-1 series loss to England. Changes have been made in the playing ranks and it's expected Buchanan will have to accept having assistant coaches if he's to keep his job. Young said he's interested in working full-time in cricket. "I've made no bones about wanting to work more on a full-time basis with cricket, I gave up my baseball career to do this because I believe in it," Young said.

He said the only job that would take him away from cricket would be as a manager in the US major leagues.

"But quite frankly I'm past all that dream stuff, the reality is that I'm in the big leagues right now," with the Australian team. Australia made some uncharacteristic blunders in the field against England, which contributed to the losses. Young said the fielding problems could be addressed with some hard work.

"There is no doubt in my mind, these guys are the best athletes in the world that I've seen as far as cricketers, it's just a matter of repetition and getting back and doing some of the things that we've worked on for three years," he said.

First Published: Oct 04, 2005 17:51 IST