Bastab K Parida
20 Sep 2022 | 03:16 AM

Shelley Nitschke named Australian women's team head coach

Nitschke was named ICC Women’s Cricketer of the Year in 2010 and claimed four (2009, 2010, 2011, 2012) consecutive Belinda Clark Awards

Cricket Australia have today announced the decision of appointing Shelley Nitschke as the Head Coach of the Australian Women’s Cricket Team for the next four years. The position was left vacant after Matthew Mott resigned from the side to take over an opportunity to coach the England’s Men’s limited-overs side.

Nitschke had an immediate impact on the side, when she was appointed the Interim coach in May, by leading Australia to a Gold medal finish in the Commonwealth Games in July, scripting an epic trilogy that saw Australia being the World Champions in 20-over Cricket, 50-over Cricket, and CWG at the same time.

Speaking on Nitschke’s appointment, Ben Oliver, Executive General Manager, High Performance & National Teams said, “We’re delighted to appoint Shelley as head coach of our world champion women’s team. She did an outstanding job in an interim capacity during the Commonwealth Games and was the clear standout candidate in the recruitment process.

“Shelley is an incredibly well-respected coach with a proven track record. She knows what it takes to be successful at an international level and brings significant coaching and playing experience to the role. She’s been a great mentor for the spin group since joining as an assistant in 2018, helping develop them into some of the world’s leading bowlers, and we look forward to seeing what the team can achieve with Shelley at the helm.”

As a player, Nitschke had a huge reputation and went on to live by it when she broke into the Australian team in 2005 as a 28-year-old. She then went on to play 80 One-Day Internationals, 36 Twenty20s and six Test matches, while accumulating over 3,000 runs and more than 150 wickets with her left-arm orthodox bowling.

She was named ICC Women’s Cricketer of the Year in 2010 and claimed four (2009, 2010, 2011, 2012) consecutive Belinda Clark Awards.

After retiring from international cricket in 2011, Nitschke went on to hold various coaching roles with South Australia, Adelaide Strikers – where she also played two seasons from 2015-2017 – and Cricket Australia. 

In 2018 she was appointed assistant coach of the Australian Women’s Team and in 2019, was named Head Coach of the Perth Scorchers WBBL side, leading the team to its maiden WBBL title last summer. She will continue in her role at Perth Scorchers for this season before stepping down at the conclusion of this year’s tournament.

Speaking on her appointment, Nitschke said, “I’m honoured to have been given this opportunity to lead the team full-time and to continue to build on the legacy created by Matthew Mott. While I enjoyed my time working as assistant coach, I feel the time is right to step up and lead this group in what’s shaping as a new era with a new-look coaching group and the retirement of Rachael Haynes. 

“The loss of Rach will no doubt be felt, but it presents a great opportunity for others to put their hands up both from a leadership perspective as well as with the bat and in the field. Our challenge is to ensure the team continues to evolve; we’ve seen teams like India take their game to the next level and it’s important that the players feel they have the support they need to keep getting better every day.

“Our team continues to go from strength to strength and I’m excited to see what this group can achieve next; there’s some important cricket on the horizon including the ICC Women’s T20 World Cup in February and away Ashes next winter, so it’s a great time to be involved.”

Nitschke’s first assignment will be Australia’s five-match T20 tour of India in December, with a home bilateral series against Pakistan in January to wrap-up Australia’s preparations ahead the ICC Women’s T20 World Cup in February in South Africa.

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