Cricket Australia on Tuesday confirmed that Shelley Nitschke has been appointed as the head coach of the Australian Women’s Cricket Team for the next four years. Nitschke, 45, was named interim head coach in May following the resignation of Matthew Mott, leading Australia to gold in its historic Commonwealth Games debut in Birmingham in July.

One of the world’s leading all-rounders, Nitschke broke into the Australian team in 2005 as a 28-year-old and went on to play 80 One-Day Internationals, 36 Twenty20’s and six Test matches. In that time, she amassed over 3,000 runs and claimed more than 150 wickets with her left-arm orthodox bowling.

She was named ICC Women’s Cricket of the Year in 2010 and claimed four (2009, 2010, 2011, 2012) consecutive Belinda Clark Awards. Nitschke retired from international cricket in 2011 and went on to hold various coaching roles with South Australia, the 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 Women’s Big Bash League (WBBL) title last summer.

Promoted

Nitschke will honour her Perth Scorchers contract for this season, before stepping down at the conclusion of the WBBL.

“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 an 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,” she said in an official release. 

“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,” she added.

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 of the ICC Women’s T20 World Cup in February in South Africa.

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