Cooley takes coaching skills home

Troy Cooley will quit as England's fast-bowling coach next year and return to Australia. Cricket Australia has revealed that Cooley will take up a similar job in his homeland when his current contract with the England and Wales Cricket Board ends in May.

Cooley will be based in Brisbane as head of the Centre of Excellence fast-bowling programme, working with the national team and state associations.

Cooley joined England in 2003 and has been hailed as the man who developed the talents of pacemen Steve Harmison, Andrew Flintoff, Simon Jones and Matthew Hoggard. He was awarded a prestigious Mussabini Medal for achievement in UK international sports coaching last month.

Cooley said: "I am most grateful to the ECB and to Duncan Fletcher for the opportunity to work in England. It excites me to be able to return Down Under to work with talents ranging from the current players to the significant number of emerging youngsters around Australia."

Cooley was born in Tasmania and played alongside Ricky Ponting in club and inter-state cricket as a fast bowler before moving into coaching roles. He then moved to the cricket academy where he worked with Rod Marsh and Dennis Lillee.

James Sutherland, the chief executive of Cricket Australia, said: "Troy was our first choice, the players rate him highly, and his work in England speaks for itself.

"We are delighted he has agreed to return home to take on this important role as we move ahead with our plans for the Ashes Tour here in 2006-07."

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