Former rugby player named performance manager of Australian cricketOctober 13th, 2011 - 3:41 pm ICT by IANS
Sydney, Oct 13 (IANS) Former Australian rugby international Patrick Howard is to join Cricket Australia (CA) in the new role of general manager, team performance (GMTP).
Howard is also a former Australian Rugby Union (ARU) high performance unit general manager.
Creation of the new role, to focus solely on team performance, was one of the key recommendations of the Australian Team Performance Review (ATPR) adopted by CA’s Board in August.
The Australian team head coach, captain, chairman of selectors, team manager and Centre of Excellence (COE) Manager will report to Howard, a Queenslander who will be based in Brisbane at the COE, starting mid-November.
State cricket managers in the six states will work closely with him as part of a move to integrate national player development to better ensure a co-ordinated focus on developing international players across Australian cricket.
The role is also responsible for women’s cricket.
Announcing the appointment Thursday, CA Chief Executive Officer James Sutherland said recruitment for the new role was important of having a high performance background in the sport.
“We are delighted Pat is taking this role - he has a background of success as a player, selector and coach, including 20 Tests as an Australian player, as well as playing and coaching success with the Leicester Tigers in England and was a high performance GM with the ARU,” he said.
“He brings vital qualities in what is a pivotal new role with a singular focus on the team performance.
“His priority will be ensuring that all of Australia’s high performance cricket programmes dovetail in a manner that helps us produce the best men’s and women’s teams in the world.”
He said Howard’s background as a pharmacist, his commercial experience including his current role as Chief Operating Officer of Cromwell Property Group, and his background as a board member of the Rugby Union Players Association, were factors rounding out his successful candidature.
Sutherland said CA had strongly supported the ATPR recommendation that a new role be created to focus just on team performance without also managing Australian cricket’s numerous other operational requirements such as competition management, umpiring, programming, anti-corruption, security, team logistics, industrial relations, COE redevelopment, operations budget management and the like.
These will continue to be the responsibility of GM Operations Michael Brown.
Howard said he was attracted to the new role after the ATPR created what he regarded as an exciting new opportunity to co-ordinate a new focussed, integrated approach to Australian cricket high performance.
He said he felt fortunate to be able to take the unique opportunity created by the new role.
“The timing of the new role off the back of Argus review makes this an exciting time in Australian cricket,” he said.
“It is a great opportunity for anybody interested in sports leadership.”
James Sutherland said CA would be moving immediately to finalise recruitment of a full-time national selector and other selectors after recent advertising that had solicited strong interest, and to recruit a head coach, a role which has been advertised this week following finalisation of the GMTP recruitment.
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