England add Michael Hussey and David Saker to coaching team for T20 World Cup

 (Getty Images)
(Getty Images)

England have appointed a familiar face and an old adversary to their coaching staff for next month’s Twenty20 World Cup, with David Saker and Michael Hussey joining up.

The Australian duo have agreed short-term deals, with Saker returning to the fold as bowling consultant having previously worked as fast bowling coach between 2010 and 2015.

Saker will begin his role during the seven-match T20 series in Pakistan, with England’s first tour of the country in 17 years due to begin on 20 September, while Hussey will link up as a batting specialist for the World Cup.

The white-ball set-up now has a decidedly Australian influence, led by white-ball head coach Matthew Mott, but Richard Dawson and Carl Hopkinson remain at his side as assistants. With the tournament taking place Down Under, England will be hoping to make the most of their new wealth of local knowledge.

Saker, 56, was a well-liked and successful part of Andy Flower’s England regime, helping forge the attack the bowling attack that took the team to number one in the Test rankings as well as claiming an unforgettable Ashes success in 2010/11.

Little more than a year after departing he was on the other side of the Ashes divide, working as Australia’s bowling coach, and more recently went on to work with Sri Lanka as Mickey Arthur’s right-hand man. He also has extensive experience on the franchise circuit, including a stint as head coach of Melbourne Renegades.

Hussey, fondly known as ‘Mr Cricket’, was one of the most accomplished players of his generation and a constant thorn in England’s side. Since retiring in 2016 he has acted as a batting consultant for numerous teams including Australia, South Africa, Sri Lanka and IPL franchise Chennai Super Kings as well being director of cricket with Sydney Thunder in the Big Bash.

The appointments underlines England’s preference to keep their coaching staff separated between red and white-ball units.

Paul Collingwood, Marcus Trescothick, Jeetan Patel and Jon Lewis are all full-time lead coaches at the ECB but are not part of Mott’s group. They are expected to work with Brendon McCullum’s Test side this winter, and for the foreseeable future, though pace bowling lead Lewis may also be used in a developmental capacity going forward.