Melbourne: Craig McDermott has pipped his old pace rival Allan Donald and the little-known Allister de Winter to become Australia's pace bowling coach, replacing Troy Cooley. The appointment was announced in Brisbane on Thursday after Michael Brown, Cricket Australia's head of cricket operations, had completed his final round of interviews.
"It's great to be back as part of the Australian team set-up again and I can't wait to get started working with the bowlers and the rest of the team," McDermott said. "We've got some challenging tours ahead in the coming months but I'm excited at the opportunity to be part of the group that helps get Australia back to number one in all forms of cricket."
In another coaching decision, the Australian batting coach Justin Langer has been formally re-appointed to the role after agreeing to a 12-month contract extension with CA. Langer has held the post since November 2009.
In the 15 years since his retirement from international cricket in 1996, McDermott has tried various pursuits, not all of them successful. But in recent times he had worked as a pace bowling coach at the Centre of Excellence in Brisbane, and was taken to Bangladesh as interim pace bowling coach for Australia's short tour in April, where he gelled successfully with the players.
"The work Craig's done over the last couple of days with the guys has been great," Brett Lee told ESPNcricinfo during the tour. "He's been a world-class bowler for Australia and his record speaks for itself. He gets on well with the guys."
McDermott was chosen out of an initial field that included Jason Gillespie and Andy Bichel in addition to Donald and de Winter, with his previous involvement in the Australian system a major selling point. A long and successful Test career, in which he took 291 wickets across 71 matches and excelled in a wide variety of conditions, also helped.
"His impressive record as an international player, during which he successfully overcame a number of setbacks, combined with his recent record at the Cricket Australia Centre of Excellence and with the Australia team in Bangladesh, all impressed us that he was the outstanding candidate for this role," said Brown. "He will provide valuable support to the new Test Captain, Michael Clarke, coach Tim Nielsen, and the playing group."
Donald is now likely to remain with New Zealand where he had begun a fruitful relationship with the national side during the World Cup, while de Winter will go back to preparing the Tasmanian pace attack for their tilt at defending the Sheffield Shield title.