Cricket seems to have found its way at Ageas Bowl. The venue of the first test match between England and West Indies indicates the return of the much-loved game under a new norm though. Coaches, teams, and boards have to tie their belts for an unprecedented ride ahead.
In the midst of uncertainties, Australia has decided to use the services of Ben Sawyer. He shall be an essential part of the Women’s ODI World Cup campaign slated early next year. These updates come after Ben took a new full-time role with Cricket New South Wales. He has been associated with the team from 2018 and traveled alongside players as their assistant coach.
His tenure had an Ashes win and two successful T20 World Cup campaigns. His influence and guidance over the Aussie pace attack have been lauded by Ellyse Perry. Sawyer had a contracted role which was tied with training camps and tours. It was different from the full-time contract held by Shelley Nitschke. The schedule for the Australian team has been hectic since Sawyer joined the lot. He had been traveling extensively and a permanent offer from New South Whales would have been attractive.
Aussies were, however, on a six-month break from cricket but the preseason training camps in Brisbane have been delayed in the lights of pandemic and the travel restrictions. Sawyer had plans with the English calendar and the inaugural women’s Hundred but it got postponed until 2021.
In a conversation with cricket.com.au, Shawn Flegler, Female High-Performance Manager, said that an agreement is signed between Cricket Australia and Cricket NSW which allows Sawyer to join the Aussie camp for the world cup campaign. He said, “For him, it’s a great opportunity to have some stability for his family for a couple of years and stay connected to the system, he was really clear that he wanted to stay involved with the Australian team if he could”.
The commitment from Sawyer means that he won’t be available for Australia’s home and ODI and T20I series against New Zealand scheduled in September. Flegler said that alternatives were being discussed for the tour. Sawyer, on the appointment, said that “Now I’ll have more opportunities to sit around with other coaches and share ideas working with the squad 12 months of the year, not just floating in and out”. Coaches will be vital for women’s cricket in upcoming times where two important ICC events are lined up.