Buchanan to quit coaching Australia after World Cup

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The Independent Online

John Buchanan will step down as the Australia coach when his contract ends after the World Cup in the West Indies next year.

Buchanan, 53, said: "All cricketers make sacrifices to cricket over their family. I will have the opportunity after the 2007 World Cup to devote more time to my family. There's a shelf life in coaching and I believe that following the World Cup it will be the appropriate time to hand over the reins."

Buchanan took over as coach of the state side, Queensland, in 1994, guiding them to their first domestic titles in 1995 and 1997. He was named coach of Middlesex a year later before succeeding Geoff Marsh in the national coaching post in October 1999. He then presided over Australia's most successful series of performances.

A 10-wicket win over Zimbabwe in Harare in October 1999, which preceded Buchanan's appointment, started a winning sequence of 16 victories which ended with the epic second Test defeat to India in Calcutta in March 2001.

Buchanan came under fire, however, after the Ashes series in 2005 over selection and tactical decisions as England regained the urn for the first time in 18 years. He recently made England coach Duncan Fletcher's diary a compulsory addition to the squad's reading list as they prepare to win back the Ashes.

"My absolute focus at the moment, however, is the upcoming summer of cricket," Buchanan said. "I am extremely excited about the challenges we face with the ICC Champions Trophy, the Ashes and one-day international series and the 2007 World Cup."

The five-Test Ashes series starts in Brisbane on 23 November.

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