Andrew McDonald will consider offloading some white-ball responsibilities after he was confirmed as the man to lead Australia through a busy calendar of cricket, with upcoming tours to Sri Lanka and India, the T20 World Cup and an away Ashes series on the horizon.
The 40-year-old was officially unveiled on Wednesday as Justin Langer’s replacement as the national men’s team head coach, with a remit to lead the side across all three formats of the game on a four-year deal.
He had been in the position on an interim basis since Langer stepped down in February, and oversaw the recent tour to Pakistan, where Australia won a tightly contested Test series 1-0, lost a three-match ODI series 2-1 and won a one-off T20.
However, with easing Covid restrictions across the world allowing for a busier schedule than over the course of the past two years, he may have to step aside and allow his new assistant coaches to take charge on occasion.
“The great challenge for coaches and players is to manage your workload across the four years,” McDonald said. “I’d like to think I have the coaching staff to step-up, and we can elevate certain coaches at different times to take on different tours and different challenges.
“While doing that it’s only growing the depth of our coaching staff…coaches will get exposed along the journey to help out the workload which is quite significant for a head coach.
“Once it was decided that I was the preferred candidate I got a chance to sit down with Cricket Australia and the people around that to shape the role. It [managing the workload] was a huge part of it, no doubt it.”
McDonald joined the national setup in 2019 after leading Victoria and the Melbourne Renegades to all three domestic competition titles during the 2018-19 season. He has also held senior coaching jobs in the Indian Premier League and in English county cricket.
He inherits a team that has enjoyed substantial recent success with victory in last year’s T20 World Cup followed by a dominating Ashes series win over England.
“The journey so far has been particularly pleasing, and I am honored to be given this incredible opportunity for what is an exciting period ahead,” McDonald said. “The success of the World Cup, the Ashes series and now Pakistan has been testament to the hard work and leadership of Justin [Langer]Pat [Cummins] and Aaron [Finch] along with the players and the support staff.
“My plan is to build on the growth, depth and experience of the squad while working collectively with the group and across the game. There are many challenges in the short-term which I know excites the leadership group, the players and the staff.”
Cricket Australia interviewed several candidates for the role, which the chief executive, Nick Hockley, said was “one of the most important in Australian sport”.
“Andrew has already shown he is an outstanding head coach and the vision he outlined for the role during the appointment process was both impressive and exciting, making him our clear choice,” Hockley said.
“We are proud of the way the team played and the respect shown throughout the tour of Pakistan under the leadership of Andrew, Pat and Aaron and really pleased Andrew is taking on the role permanently.”