Cricket: Irish coup as McDermott signs

Ireland have pulled off a major coup with the signing of former Australia paceman Craig McDermott as their new bowling coach and consultant.

McDermott held a similar role with Australia until earlier this year and links up with the Irish squad at a pre-World Twenty20 Cup training camp in Sri Lanka.

McDermott's decision to quit after a year as Australia's bowling coach in May was a major blow for the Aussies as he had been cited as the main reason for the recent improvement of their pacemen.

The 47-year-old will now face his home country as Ireland have been drawn in the same group as the Australians at the World Twenty20, which begins on September 18.

"I am looking forward to working with (coach) Phil (Simmons) and his team at the World T20 in Sri Lanka," he said.

"Ireland has done well in the past World Cups and I am sure they will do again at this one. They have a well balanced squad and I am looking forward to getting stuck into preparing them for the World T20 in our training camp in Colombo.

"I see this as another opportunity for me to work with another international team and to further my coaching career."

McDermott, whose son Alister won a first call-up for Australia's current tour of the United Arab Emirates, is his country's fifth-highest Test wicket taker having claimed 291 scalps in 71 appearances.

Cricket Ireland performance director David Holdsworth hailed McDermott's signing and revealed the International Cricket Council had helped finance the move.

"I am delighted that we have brought Craig on board as part of our coaching set-up," he said.

"He is vastly experienced both as a top-class player and more recently specialist bowling coach.

"Craig's enthusiasm, experience and knowledge will add further strength to our coach support staff and we thank the ICC high-performance programme for their financial support towards achieving this.

"Having recently been bowling coach to the Australian team, his insights into their players will help the team prepare for our match against them on 19th September."

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