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New golden era arrives, as CA locks in Nitschke full-time


Australia has locked in its new women’s cricket head coach as it looks ahead to a busy four years. Here’s why she’s well-equipped to help the Aussies continue their dominance on the world stage.

Former Aussie women’s cricket star Shelley Nitschke has been rewarded for a productive interim stint with a four-year contract as the head coach of Australia’s women’s teams.

It caps off the beginning of a new era for Australian women’s cricket, as they transition from a period of dominance under Matthew Mott into an exciting future.

Mott departed from the Aussie women’s setup in May, stepping into a white-ball head coaching role with England, as Nitschke was named his replacement ahead of Australia’s Tri-Series against Ireland and Pakistan and the Commonwealth Games across July and August.

And despite the hole Mott’s absence leaves, Nitschke is more than equipped to fill the role, with a breadth of experience at the elite level as a player and a coach.

Nitschke took on the coaching role of the Perth Scorchers in the WBBL ahead of the 2020-21 season, leading the side to a semi-final, and coaching it to a breakthrough WBBL title in 2021-22.

She’s also been working as an assistant coach in the Australian camp since 2018, following her retirement from cricket after her final season with the Adelaide Strikers in the WBBL in 2016-17.

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Nitschke’s international career is perhaps the best indicator of her potential as a coach, however.

She’s one of the most prolific women’s cricketers Australia has ever produced, winning four consecutive Belinda Clark Medals between 2009-2012 as the best Aussie women’s cricketer.

Nitschke is also arguably one of the greatest ever women’s all-rounders Australia has ever produced, with 1 century and 14 fifties at the ODI level, and 98 wickets at 22.14 with the ball.

Overall, her career boasts 3118 international runs at 30.56, and 153 wickets at 20.98, with her high score of 113* and best bowling figures of 7/24 both coming in ODI cricket.

Nitschke ushered in a period of dominance as a player, playing alongside the likes of Ellyse Perry, Meg Lanning and Alyssa Healy towards the end of her international playing career.

With those stars now veterans of the Aussie team, Nitschke is back and has the chance to do the same, now as a coach.

The Matthew Mott era ended with Ashes and ODI World Cup victories, and the Shelley Nitschke era has started with a Commonwealth Games gold medal.

With an exciting crop of youngsters coming into the international fold for Australia, Nitschke’s international experience will be invaluable as she leads Australia into a new era.

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