Melbourne, Oct 13: Cricket Australia has appointed former rugby union international Pat Howard to the newly created role of general manager of team performance.
The creation of the role follows the release of an extensive independent review—headed by mining executive Don Argus earlier this year in the wake of Australia's home Ashes loss to England—that recommended a major overhaul.
From mid-November, the 37-year-old Howard will oversee the Australia head coach, captain, chairman of selectors, team manager and center of excellence manager. He will be based at CA's Centre of Excellence in Brisbane, Queensland state.
One of Howard's first responsibilities will be to help choose a fulltime national selector and a new head coach to replace Tim Nielsen.
Howard represented Australia in 20 rugby tests before coaching powerful English club Leicester Tigers and serving as the Australian Rugby Union's high-performance manager.
“We are delighted Pat is taking this role,” CA chief executive James Sutherland said. “He has a background of success as a player, selector and coach. ... He brings vital qualities in what is a pivotal new role with a singular focus on Australian team performance.”
As part of the restructure, the provincial cricket managers will work closely with Howard in a move to integrate national player development to “better ensure a coordinated focus on developing international players.” He is also responsible for women's cricket.
Howard said he was attracted to the new role after the review created what he regarded as an opportunity to coordinate a “new focussed, integrated approach to Australian cricket high performance.”
“The timing of the new role off the back of the Argus review makes this an exciting time in Australian cricket,” he said. “It is a great opportunity for anybody interested in sports leadership.” AP