x Abu Dhabi, UAETuesday 25 July 2017

Australia coach to go home early during ODI series

The beleaguered Australia coach Tim Nielsen will take time off during the limited-overs series in England, leaving his assistant in charge of the national team for three matches in the wake of the Ashes series loss.

The beleaguered Australia coach Tim Nielsen will take time off during the limited-overs series in England, leaving his assistant in charge of the national team for three matches in the wake of the Ashes series loss. Cricket Australia (CA) announced yesterday that Nielsen, who has presided over losses to India, South Africa and England in three of the last four Test series as Australia's world ranking slipped from No 1 to No 4, would return to Adelaide after the fourth ODI against England on September 13 to spend time with his young family.

Troy Cooley, a bowling coach who helped England in their shock 2005 Ashes series win, will guide the Australians for the last three one-dayers in England. Nielsen will rejoin the team on September 22 in South Africa, where the Australians will defend their Champions Trophy title. "The Australian team has played back-to-back international cricket since September 2008 and looking at the busy schedule over the next 12 months, we believe it is the right time for Tim to take a break," Michael Brown, CA's general manager of cricket, said in a statement. "This will also provide an excellent opportunity for Tim's assistant, Troy Cooley, to continue his professional development by stepping up as acting coach for the remainder of the tour."

Nielsen succeeded John Buchanan as coach after Australia won the 2007 World Cup, but his period in charge has coincided with the retirements of some of the sport's greatest players, leaving him with the task of rebuilding the national team. Buchanan was among those who said the coaching structure for the national team needed to be reviewed in the wake of the 2-1 Ashes series loss last month. Meanwhile, The second Twenty20 international between England and Australia in Manchester was abandoned without a ball being bowled on Tuesday because of a wet outfield. The first match of the series, also at Old Trafford, was also abandoned because of heavy rain on Saturday.

The Tuesday decision was a blow to the 25,000 fans inside Old Trafford, a regular Test venue which missed out on staging any of the five Ashes games. The venue also doesn't have any of the seven one-day games. The decision to call the game off was greeted with derision by the spectators, as it was made after the sun had been shining for at least two hours. It was an embarrassing situation for Lancashire Cricket Club. The covers were on for a long period after the heavy showers yet did not work on the lingering wet patches.

"We as two teams obviously wanted to get out there and play," said the England captain Paul Collingwood. "But you have to be realistic. There's an area of concern with the run-ups. It's unfit for international cricket." The teams are scheduled to play the first of their one-day internationals at the Oval tomorrow. * With agencies