Infotainment Factory: Lyon: Saker departure 'took me by surprise'

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Thursday, 7 February 2019

Lyon: Saker departure 'took me by surprise'


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Australian spinner Nathan Lyon says he had no indication David Saker was set to quit his job as bowling coach of the national side, indicating the decision took him “by surprise.”

Saker announced his immediate resignation yesterday, just months out from the World Cup and Ashes, arguably the most important winter for Australian cricket in years.

It follows reports of a rift between Saker and head coach Justin Langer, while fast bowler Mitchell Starc pointedly didn’t mention Saker after his return to form in the final Test of the summer in Canberra, instead thanking New South Wales bowling coach Andre Adams.

Nathan Lyon

But Lyon says Saker’s departure was a shock.

“I know he’s got my support, but I’m not part of those conversations behind closed doors to be honest, so it took me by surprise,” Lyon said.

“I was taken back by it to be honest, I didn’t really catch on to anything especially in Canberra after a great Test win down there - I didn’t really think anything of it. He didn’t mention anything to me.

“He’s been great for me, he’s been a massive support so he will be missed that’s for sure.”

Saker’s departure sparked a disagreement between former teammates Darren Lehmann and Brett Lee over his possible replacement.

The pair, who played eight Tests together, clashed over whether or not the next bowling coach should be appointed on a full time, or part time basis, with Lehmann calling Lee’s comment’s “rubbish.”

“I’d have a part-time bowling coach because sometimes I think a bowling coach is limited to what he can teach the young guys coming through but also to make sure that you’re doing things on the ground with the current team,” Lee said on Fox Cricket.

David Saker.

“Maybe before a tournament starts, come in for a week, do a few top-ups at the start of the season. I just don’t think they need a bowling coach for 300 days a year.

“It’s good to keep it fresh otherwise the bowling coach becomes stale.”

But Lehmann, who was head coach for most of Saker’s time as bowling coach, disagreed with that assessment.

“I think that’s rubbish,” Lehmann said

“Your bowling group need to have a guy they can go to and really be part of that coaching (staff).

“I want a guy there full-time … one guy’s got to oversee it all.

“You have to have that one focal point as a coach but there’s no reason players can’t see other coaches.

“You’ll still got to have that one central point.”

Australian spinner Nathan Lyon says he had no indication David Saker was set to quit his job as bowling coach of the national side, indicating the decision took him “by surprise.”

Saker announced his immediate resignation yesterday, just months out from the World Cup and Ashes, arguably the most important winter for Australian cricket in years.

It follows reports of a rift between Saker and head coach Justin Langer, while fast bowler Mitchell Starc pointedly didn’t mention Saker after his return to form in the final Test of the summer in Canberra, instead thanking New South Wales bowling coach Andre Adams.

Nathan Lyon

But Lyon says Saker’s departure was a shock.

“I know he’s got my support, but I’m not part of those conversations behind closed doors to be honest, so it took me by surprise,” Lyon said.

“I was taken back by it to be honest, I didn’t really catch on to anything especially in Canberra after a great Test win down there - I didn’t really think anything of it. He didn’t mention anything to me.

“He’s been great for me, he’s been a massive support so he will be missed that’s for sure.”

Saker’s departure sparked a disagreement between former teammates Darren Lehmann and Brett Lee over his possible replacement.

The pair, who played eight Tests together, clashed over whether or not the next bowling coach should be appointed on a full time, or part time basis, with Lehmann calling Lee’s comment’s “rubbish.”

“I’d have a part-time bowling coach because sometimes I think a bowling coach is limited to what he can teach the young guys coming through but also to make sure that you’re doing things on the ground with the current team,” Lee said on Fox Cricket.

David Saker.

“Maybe before a tournament starts, come in for a week, do a few top-ups at the start of the season. I just don’t think they need a bowling coach for 300 days a year.

“It’s good to keep it fresh otherwise the bowling coach becomes stale.”

But Lehmann, who was head coach for most of Saker’s time as bowling coach, disagreed with that assessment.

“I think that’s rubbish,” Lehmann said

“Your bowling group need to have a guy they can go to and really be part of that coaching (staff).

“I want a guy there full-time … one guy’s got to oversee it all.

“You have to have that one focal point as a coach but there’s no reason players can’t see other coaches.

“You’ll still got to have that one central point.”

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