New Australian cricket team head coach Andrew McDonald has indicated that he drove a hard bargain with Cricket Australia (CA) before accepting to guide the top-ranked Test side in the world for the next four years.
Former Test cricketer McDonald was on Wednesday appointed head coach of the Australian team after he was interim coach for almost two months following Justin Langer stepping down due to a disagreement over his contract extension.
McDonald has played four Tests and recently oversaw the Australia's away Test series win against Pakistan.
Speaking to the media after his appointment as head coach, McDonald said that one of the conditions that led him to accept the responsibility full-time was that other coaches will also have to be elevated at different times, so that the burden doesn't just fall on one person.
"I'd like to think I have the coaching staff to step-up, and we can elevate certain coaches at different times to take on different tours and different challenges. While doing that it's only growing the depth of our coaching staff... coaches will get exposed along the journey to help out the workload which is quite significant for a head coach," McDonald was quoted as saying by cricket.com.au.
"Once it was decided that I was the preferred candidate I got a chance to sit down with Cricket Australia and the people around that to shape the role. It (managing the workload) was a huge part of it, no doubt it," the 40-year-old said.
McDonald — who was always the frontrunner for the job having joined the Australian coaching setup as an assistant in 2019 after a spell of coaching in domestic cricket, winning both the Sheffield Shield and One-Day competitions with Victoria, as well as the eighth edition of the Big Bash League (BBL) with the Melbourne Renegades — added that his workload management was the most important part of the discussion with CA.
"The great challenge for coaches and players is to manage your workload across the four years," McDonald said on Wednesday.
Australia have an extremely busy schedule involving a Test tour of India, an away Ashes series, and an ODI World Cup in India next year, and overseeing all those responsibilities will be tough for one person.
CA chief executive Nick Hockley said that several candidates were interviewed before they selected McDonald.
"We interviewed several excellent candidates for this role, which is one of the most important in Australian sport. Andrew has already shown he is an outstanding head coach and the vision he outlined for the role during the appointment process was both impressive and exciting, making him our clear choice.
"We are proud of the way the team played and the respect shown throughout the tour of Pakistan under the leadership of Andrew, Pat (Cummins) and Aaron (Finch) and really pleased Andrew is taking on the role permanently," said Hockley.