Shelly Nitschke has been appointed as the head coach of the Australian women’s team, Cricket Australia announced on Tuesday. The 45-year-old, who had served as the interim coach following the end of Matthew Mott’s tenure after the 2022 World Cup, has been a part of the setup since joining as an assistant under Mott in 2018.
Apart from being at helm through the course of Australia’s Commonwealth Games gold medal-winning campaign, Nitschke had also served as the head coach of Perth Scorchers and guided them to the WBBL title last season. She will continue to be the head coach of Perth Scorchers for the upcoming season of WBBL before stepping down.
Nitschke, who has played 6 Tests, 80 ODIs and 36 T20Is through the course of her seven-year international career from 2004 to 2011, has held various coaching roles with South Australia and Adelaide Strikers since her retirement. In fact, with the latter, she continued to double up from 2015 to 2017.
The recruitment process for the vacant role of the assistant coach has already started and wil continue with the inputs from Nitschke.
Speaking on her appointment, Ben Oliver, Executive General Manager, High Performance & National Teams said, “We’re delighted to appoint Shelley as head coach of our world champion women’s team. She did an outstanding job in an interim capacity during the Commonwealth Games and was the clear standout candidate in the recruitment process.
“Shelley is an incredibly well-respected coach with a proven track record. She knows what it takes to be successful at an international level and brings significant coaching and playing experience to the role. “She’s been a great mentor for the spin group since joining as an assistant in 2018, helping develop them into some of the world’s leading bowlers, and we look forward to seeing what the team can achieve with Shelley at the helm.
Nitschke added, “I’m honoured to have been given this opportunity to lead the team full-time and to continue to build on the legacy created by Matthew Mott. While I enjoyed my time working as assistant coach, I feel the time is right to step up and lead this group in what’s shaping as a new era with a new-look coaching group and the retirement of Rachael Haynes.
“The loss of Rach (Rachel Haynes) will no doubt be felt, but it presents a great opportunity for others to put their hands up both from a leadership perspective as well as with the bat and in the field. Our challenge is to ensure the team continues to evolve; we’ve seen teams like India take their game to the next level and it’s important that the players feel they have the support they need to keep getting better every day.
“Our team continues to go from strength to strength and I’m excited to see what this group can achieve next; there’s some important cricket on the horizon including the ICC Women’s T20 World Cup in February and away Ashes next winter, so it’s a great time to be involved.”
Nitschke’s first assignment will be Australia’s five-match T20I tour of India in December, with a home bilateral series against Pakistan in January to wrap up Australia’s preparations ahead of the ICC Women’s T20 World Cup in February in South Africa.