Andrew McDonald, former Australian Test player, has been announced as the Victorian Bushrangers’ new head coach on Saturday (August 27).
The 35-year-old will leave his current post at English County side Leicestershire in September. McDonald had recently been announced as coach of the Big Bash League team Melbourne Renegades, replacing David Saker, Australian national team’s new bowling coach.
After two years with Leicestershire, McDonald said the lure of returning home was too irresistible. “The state team is in a really good place on the back of consecutive Shield victories and I’m looking forward to building on that culture of success and delivering results across all formats,” McDonald said in a Cricket Victoria statement.
“I’m a proud Victorian and have been lucky enough to share some big wins playing cricket for this state. I’m excited about the challenges that are ahead of us and I look forward to working with the coaching staff and the players led by Matthew Wade on the busy schedule ahead.”
McDonald, who played four Tests for Australia in the late 2000s, has enjoyed success at Leicestershire, taking them to the brink of promotion from Division Two of the County Championship. “It has been an extremely difficult decision to leave Leicestershire County Cricket Club but I have to put my family first and we are now going to settle back home in Australia,” he said in a Leicestershire CCC statement.
“I’d like to thank the club for this fantastic opportunity, I’ll always be grateful for having the chance to both play and coach at the Fischer County Ground, and will continue to follow the club’s fortunes from afar.
“I also appreciate the fact that Leicestershire have allowed me the opportunity to return home and wish the club every success for the future,” McDonald added.
Tony Dodemaide, the Cricket Victoria chief executive, said McDonald was the outstanding candidate after a thorough selection process. “We’re delighted that Andrew has agreed to return to Victoria after his time in charge with Leicestershire,” Dodemaide said. “He brings a great enthusiasm and knowledge to the role and knows Victorian cricket well which stands us in good stead ahead of the upcoming Sheffield Shield season and Matador BBQs One Day Cup.
“The Commonwealth Bank Bushrangers have enjoyed terrific success in the last two years with our consecutive Shield victories. Andrew – a former Shield winner himself – understands elite performance environments and is looking to build on that success this season,” he added.
Wasim Khan, Leicestershire chief executive, paid tribute to McDonald’s services. “This decision has not been easy for Andrew and we are naturallydisappointed to lose a person and coach ofhiscaliber,” he said. “Wefully understandand respectthe reasons for his decision.
“Andrew is an outstanding leader and I have no doubt thatCricket Victoria and Melbourne Renegades willsee huge progress withAndrew at the helm,” he added.
Pierre de Bruyn, former South African allrounder, will take over from McDonald as coach of Leicestershire.