The 38-year-old Australian spinner Steve O’Keefe feels that Team Australia should follow the coaching model of Team England and have separate coaches for white-ball and red-ball cricket.
Currently, Australia National Cricket Team have one head coach – Andrew McDonald – for all three formats of the game. McDonald was handed the job after the exit of Justin Langer from the team last year.
Steve O’Keefe mentioned that Team Australia have a jam-packed calendar in 2023, which includes the Border-Gavaskar Trophy 2023, Ashes 2023 and the ICC Men’s Cricket World Cup 2023, and it’s the right time to adopt the split-coaching system.
“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.”
I’m not taking anything away from Andrew McDonald; he’s a fantastic coach – Steve O’Keefe
O’Keefe opined that McDonald is a fantastic coach, but having separate coaches is the way forward in cricket.
“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. My gut feel says that will happen at some stage.”
Recently, Australian Cricketers’ Association (ACA) CEO Todd Greenberg expressed concern over the hectic schedule in cricket and said that in the coming years playing all three formats would be impossible for players.
“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.”