Australia head coach Tim Nielsen retires

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The Independent Online

Cricket Australia chief executive James Sutherland praised the work of retiring head coach Tim Nielsen today after the curtain came down on the head coach's tenure with a series victory over Sri Lanka.

Australia's draw in the third Test in Colombo signalled the end of Nielsen's four-year spell at the helm, during which time he guided the team to victory in nine of 15 Tests.



"Tim has been national coach during a period in which we have had a long list of great champions leave the game and has been a strong support for new players coming into the side over that period," Sutherland said.

Neilsen elected not to re-apply for the head coach role following last month's decision to restructure the Australia management based on recommendations of a comprehensive review, led by Don Argus, which was called for after last winter's Ashes defeat to England.

Nielsen, along with head of selectors Andrew Hilditch and selector Greg Chappell were high-profile victims of the sweeping changes, which will see the implementation of a five-man selection panel comprising a full-time chairman, two part-time selectors, the national captain and head coach.



Nielsen was not placed in the head coach job at the time the contents of the review were unveiled, but was invited to reapply for the new position - an offer he declined.



Sutherland continued: "I was delighted when he [Nielsen] agreed to renew his contract last year and had encouraged him to apply for the new, expanded and redesigned head coach role that the CA Board approved last month after the tabling of the Australian Team Performance Review.



"However, I have spoken to Tim and understand and respect his decision to now begin a new chapter in his professional life.



"He has contributed greatly to Australian international cricket in roles as assistant national coach, head coach at the Centre of Excellence and during four years as national coach. We all wish him well in the future."



Sutherland added that CA would move to appoint an interim, acting national coach for the upcoming tour of South Africa next month, while recruiting a new head coach.



Nielsen, who has advised CA he is due to take up a new Australian cricket role that will be announced soon, added: "It has been an honour and a privilege to work with the Australian cricket team in the role of head coach for the last four and half years.



"Throughout that period we have had some great success as well as experiencing some tough times.



"I have enjoyed every minute of working hard with the playing group, aiming to give ourselves the best possible chance of representing Australia to the very best of our ability.



"I look forward to the challenges that lay ahead in my coaching career and have no doubt the experiences I have gained working with the Australian cricket team will hold me in good stead moving forward."



Despite a winning record in Tests and 17 series wins out of 25 in one-dayers - a record sufficient to see Australia at the top of the ODI world rankings - Nielsen's time in charge was hit by upheaval.

CA's statement today admitted that the 43-year-old's reign had coincided with "a particularly challenging time for Australian international cricket", with a host of famous names announcing their retirements.



The likes of Glenn McGrath, Shane Warne, Justin Langer and Adam Gilchrist have all retired since Nielsen took over from John Buchanan in 2007, and the once-dominant side has struggled to rebuild, slipping to fourth place in the Test rankings on the back of an indifferent run of results.

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