Australian cricket’s worst kept secret has finally been confirmed with Andrew McDonald appointed as head coach of the national men’s team.
Cricket Australia announced his appointment on a four-year contract via a statement on Wednesday.
McDonald had been serving as an interim head coach following the resignation of Justin Langer, who quit his post after the Ashes having been only offered a short-term extension.
The former Victoria all-rounder is understood to have been the favoured pick of new Test captain Pat Cummins for his relaxed and collaborative approach.
He had just returned from a tour of Pakistan where Australia clinched a 1-0 victory in the Test series and won a one-off T20 while losing the ODI leg 2-1.
Cricket Australia chief Nick Hockley said: “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 and Aaron and pleased Andrew is taking on the role permanently.”
McDonald said in the statement that he is “honoured” to have been allowed to coach Australia in a permanent role.
He added: “I plan to build on the growth, depth and experience of the squad while working collectively with the group and across the game.
“There are many challenges in the short-term which I know excites the leadership group, the players and the staff. I’d also like to thank my family for their support.”
Over the next 18 months, McDonald faces several daunting assignments with Test tours of Sri Lanka, India and England, as well as a T20 World Cup on home soil later this year.
McDonald’s will take charge of all three formats, but the heavy workload dictates that he will miss some white-ball tours, as Langer often did before him.
McDonald stepped into the national set-up after a succesful run as Victoria’s coach, winning the Sheffield Shield twice — including in his first season in 2016-18 — the One-Day Cup in 2018-19, while he also took the Melbourne Renegades to its maiden BBL title.