Cricket Australia extends Nielsen’s contract till 2011 World Cup

December 23rd, 2008 - 12:33 pm ICT by IANS  

Melbourne, Dec 23 (IANS) As Australia struggle to retain the No.1 spot, coach Tim Nielsen’s contract has been extended by Cricket Australia (CA) till the 2011 World Cup.Nielsen’s contract was due to expire after the 2009 Ashes tour of England.

“We were really comfortable with the initial appointment of Tim Nielsen as Australian coach. His extensive playing experience and coaching experience at the COE (Centre of Excellence) as the head coach, prior to his appointment with the national team, indicated to us that he was the best candidate for the job,” said James Sutherland, CA’s chief executive.

The 40-year-old Nielsen took over from John Buchanan as Australian coach following the 2007 World Cup in the Caribbean. His first official series was the inaugural World Twenty20 in South Africa, where Australia made the semi-finals.

But stats show that during his current tenure the Australian team is losing its dominance in world cricket. A tri-series loss at home to India earlier this year followed by a 2-0 loss in the Test series in India and the defeat in Perth Test to South Africa all indicate that Nielsen will have a tough time ahead.

But he still enjoys the backing of the CA, which feels that Nielsen can stabilise the team that is going through a transition after the retirement of some great players like Shane Warne and Glenn McGrath.

Sutherland said that the board has immense faith on the coach.

“We continue to be impressed by the way he goes about his job. We’re obviously delighted that Tim’s going to be with us for this extended period and we know that players and administrators have great confidence in his ability. We’re pleased to be able to extend his contract with us until the conclusion of the 2011 ICC World Cup, where Australia will be defending champion,” he said.

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