Overseas raids on Australian women’s cricket coaches have continued with assistant Ben Sawyer to take the top job with New Zealand.
Sawyer was confirmed as New Zealand’s new coach on Monday, after serving as Australia’s bowling coach for three years.
The news comes just weeks after former Australia head coach Matthew Mott moved on to take charge of England’s men’s white-ball cricket.
It leaves Shelley Nitschke as a near certainty to replace Mott full-time.
Nitschke was appointed interim coach last month following Mott’s departure, and players along with Mott himself had supported her or Sawyer to claim the full-time job.
She also got her new assistants on Monday, with Dan Marsh and Jude Coleman being recruited for a tri-series in Ireland and the Commonwealth Games.
Meanwhile, Sawyer’s departure is a blow to Australian cricket.
He had long been a coach of the Sydney Sixers WBBL team and therefore had a close relationship with the likes of Ellyse Perry, Alyssa Healy and Ashleigh Gardner.
Perry, in particular, regularly relied on Sawyer as her bowling coach at both the national and international levels.
“Ben has been a brilliant resource to the squad’s emerging and experienced fast bowlers and the work he has done with this exceptionally talented group of players should be recognised,” said Ben Oliver, Cricket Australia’s head of performance.
“He is highly respected and it is therefore no surprise that New Zealand have identified Ben as an asset to their programme.
“We understand that Ben accepts this opportunity and wish him and his family all the best.”