x Abu Dhabi, UAEWednesday 24 January 2018

Chappell takes Australia 'home'

The former India coach Greg Chappell will have a foot in both camps when Australia travel next month.

The former India coach Greg Chappell will have a foot in both camps when Australia travel to the subcontinent next month after taking up a coaching role back in his homeland. The former Australia captain has been installed as the new head coach of the Australian Centre of Excellence.

The role has been filled on a temporary basis for the past 18 months after Tim Nielsen stepped up to take charge of the national team. However, Chappell, who concluded a tempestuous stint as the India boss last year, will also remain in his role as the head coach of the Rajasthan Cricket Academy, according to the Jaipur-based association's powerful chief Lalit Modi. In his new role, Chappell will oversee the development of Australia's coming generations, but his remit also includes acting as a consultant to Ricky Ponting's senior team.

The timing of his appointment is intriguing, with Australia preparing to embark on a four-Test tour to India, a side he coached for two years with limited success. He said: "I am looking forward to the challenge this position will offer in what is an exciting time, not just for Australian cricket but world cricket as a whole. "I believe I have a lot to offer the younger players, especially in the mental area of the game from both a personal and coaching point of view and have a lot of knowledge when it comes to individual and team preparations for cricketing tours."

With modern greats, such as Glenn McGrath, Shane Warne, Adam Gilchrist, Justin Langer and Damien Martyn, all following each other into retirement in the recent times, the Australian team are in a state of flux. Chappell believes he has crucial experience of such a situation which will smooth the transition. He added: "In some ways, it is quite reminiscent of the mid-1980s when I was involved. Australian cricket is again going through a period of rebuilding after what has been a very successful era.

"We need to ensure we continue this momentum and prepare the right kind of players who can continue our excellent performances of the past. "Through my experience, not only as a player and captain but also as a selector, in administration, the media and my time in India, I hope to pass on some of my learnings as we strive for excellence in Australian cricket." pradley@thenational.ae