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Bayliss to be Acting Australian Coach for T20 Internationals vs South Africa

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The Cricket Australia (CA) Board has endorsed New South Wales Blues and Sydney Sixers Coach Trevor Bayliss to step-in as Acting Australian Team Coach for the T20 Internationals against South Africa, which will open the summer of cricket later this year.

With the United Arab Emirates tour against Pakistan ending just days before the start of the Australian international summer in early November, regular coach Darren Lehmann will use the week away to prepare for the huge summer ahead, especially Australia’s Commonwealth Bank Test Series against India and the 2015 ICC Cricket World Cup.

CA Executive General Manager Team Performance Pat Howard said it was important to give every Australian team the best chance of winning.

“With Lehmann in the UAE focused on the Test matches, we have appointed Trevor to focus on the Australian T20 team to give them the best chance of winning the KFC T20 International series against South Africa.  At the same time, on his return Darren will be able to refocus on bringing the ODI team together in a very big year for 50-over cricket,” Howard said.

“Darren will have had the Zimbabwe tri-series and the UAE tour against Pakistan in quick succession immediately before the biggest ever summer of cricket in Australia, so it’s important he has some time to prepare for each series. By appointing an experienced coach such as Trevor to prepare this team he will have longer to bring the team together to compete against South Africa.

“The summer finishes with the ICC Cricket World Cup which is then closely followed by a tour of West Indies and then an Ashes Tour.

“The dual benefit of this decision is that it presents a great opportunity for Trevor to work with the Australian team and is another example of Australian cricket working collectively as ‘one team’. The Cricket NSW Chairman and CEO have been very supportive in elevating Trevor and CA thanks them for their support.

“Trevor has obviously coached at international level before and more recently has coached NSW to a Sheffield Shield title. He has won the BBL and Champions League Twenty20 with the Sixers and an IPL title with Kolkata, so we know that while Darren is away the team will be in good hands,” Howard said.

Lehmann said that while he always wanted to coach every match the Australian team played, planning and preparation are critical to successfully manage the next 18 months.

“We’ve got an absolutely huge period coming up. As soon as the tour to Zimbabwe starts in late August this year, we won’t then finish until after the 2015-16 Australian summer in March 2016; it’s pretty much non-stop,” Lehmann said.

“So with that in mind it’s important as head coach that we plan and prepare as well as we possibly can.

“Trevor is a very good coach with international experience and has led NSW and the Sydney Sixers extremely well so I have no worries handing the team over to him; the players might actually enjoy having a different voice for these matches.

“Given the schedule, it’s also likely that Australia’s key Test players won’t be part of those opening T20 matches, giving them time to get ready and prepare for the one-day and Tests that follow.”

Cricket NSW has granted Bayliss leave from his Blues duties for this period, which will likely coincide with an early round of the Bupa Sheffield Shield cricket.

Bayliss said he was looking forward to the opportunity to work with Australia’s T20 players.

“I’m very grateful for the opportunity to work with some of Australia’s best T20 players,” Bayliss said.

“Of course it will be hard to leave NSW at the start of the season, but I’m very much looking forward to this opportunity and know that the Blues will be well looked after while I’m away,” he said.