Ashes - Saker gets another three years

Fri, 07 Jan 00:12:00 2011

England have extended fast bowling coach David Saker's contract for another three years, as they prepared to wrap up the fifth and final Ashes Test in Sydney for a 3-1 series victory.

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Australian Saker, appointed last April in the lead-up to England's triumph in the Twenty20 World Cup, would continue to work with the team's elite bowlers until at least 2013, England's cricket board said.

"Since joining the England team management David has forged a strong and successful relationship with the England bowlers and indeed the entire England set-up," England team managing director Hugh Morris said.

"I know the current crop of bowlers, along with those young bowlers coming through the England system, will continue to benefit from his ongoing hard work and know-how."

The 44-year-old Saker has been praised by England's players and staff throughout the series for helping the quicks understand and exploit local pitch conditions and bowl as a unit.

"The depth of bowling talent currently throughout the England ranks is something that excites me and I'm really looking forward to building on the progress we've made in recent times," he said.

"There is still a lot of improvement ahead for the England squad, including the bowling unit, and I look forward to the challenge of continuing to test the bowlers as they seek to improve and better themselves."

Saker followed the path of Australia's Troy Cooley, who was credited with helping England's bowlers to a surprise Ashes victory in 2005. Cooley has had markedly less success since returning to the fold to work with Australia's bowlers.

Reuters

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