Australia should have separate coaches for Test and white-ball like England: O'Keefe 

O'Keefe, who played nine Tests and seven T20Is, felt if the two-coach model could work for England, there was no reason why it won't work for Australia.

Published: 28th January 2023 06:01 PM  |   Last Updated: 28th January 2023 06:16 PM   |  A+A-

Former Australian cricketer Steve O'Keefe.

Former Australian cricketer Steve O'Keefe. (Photo | AP)


MELBOURNE: Ahead of Australia's Test and ODI tour of India, former spinner Steve O'Keefe has raised the pitch for separate coaches for different formats, saying that it would help reduce the pressure on one individual.

Andrew McDonald is currently Australia's all-format coach after he replaced Justin Langer last year ahead of the series against Pakistan.

O'Keefe, who played nine Tests and seven T20Is, felt if the two-coach model could work for England, there was no reason why it won't work for Australia.

England, after splitting the Test and white-ball coaching setup, have done remarkably well.

The Test team under coach Brendon McCullum has won nine out of 10 Tests, while under Matthew Mott, England won the T20 World Cup in Australia last year.

With Australia set for a busy year that includes the Border-Gavaskar series, Ashes and the ODI World Cup in India, among other assignments, O'Keefe feels the time is right to get separate head coaches.

"I think following an England model would work; it's a lot of pressure on coaches to travel, they're away 300 days of the year sometimes," the former Australia spinner told SEN Radio on Saturday.

"The Aussie team has got India and England coming up, that takes a lot out of you and I think having a pool of coaches that you can go to for white ball, T20 and one-day cricket would ease that burden.

O'Keefe opined that separate coaches was the need of the hour as cricket in the different formats had evolved differently.

"They are, now in particular, starkly different games. I'm not taking anything away from Andrew McDonald; he's a fantastic coach, but I think in the future if we had a white-ball and a red-ball coach that would be the way forward."

The former player added that he had a feeling the change will take place soon.

"My gut feel says that will happen at some stage."

Recently, Australian Cricketers' Association (ACA) CEO Todd Greenberg had expressed concern over the increasing workload of players, saying it was getting difficult for them to play all three formats.

"That's getting harder and harder, and it's getting harder and harder to play three formats of the game," Greenberg had said in December.

"I think in the next 5-10 years, it will be literally impossible to play all three formats in every way.

It's not physically possible, it's also not mentally possible, so there has to be a choice."


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