Wednesday, February 1, 2023

Cricket NSW: Shipperd to take over NSW Blues

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Revered coach Greg Shipperd will take over the head coaching role for the NSW Blues, effective immediately, after Cricket NSW and Phil Jaques agreed to part ways.

The Blues’ next fixture is a Marsh Sheffield Shield match against Victoria starting on Thursday, before the mid-season break for the KFC BBL|12. The team has won just one match so far this season across four-day and one-day competitions.

Shipperd, who played 112 first-class matches, averaging over 40 with the bat, in a long career with Western Australia and Tasmania, is one of the most respected coaches in world cricket.

He will provide a caretaker role for the Blues until the end of the domestic season, driving the development of the current list of players and coaches, whilst Cricket NSW draw up plans to engage a replacement head coach.

In 11 years coaching Tasmania and 12 years leading Victoria, Shipperd’s teams won five Sheffield Shield titles (Tasmania 1993-94 and Victoria 2003-04, 2008-09, 2009-10, 2014-15), as well as domestic One-Day Cup and T20 crowns.

Although he was a consultant with Tasmania last season, in recent years Shipperd has focussed his attention on franchise cricket and has mentored the Sydney Sixers to three-straight finals, including tournament wins in BBL|09 and BBL|10. He is contracted to lead the Sixers this season and again in BBL|13.

The 66-year-old, known for both his technical and tactical nous, as well as his player-management skills, has also coached the Melbourne Stars in the BBL, the Delhi Capitals in the IPL and filled several consultancy roles around the world.

Cricket NSW Chief of Cricket Performance, Greg Mail, said Shipperd would bring a wealth of experience and knowledge.

“Greg Shipperd’s cricket acumen and his coaching record is well renowned, and we are very pleased that he has agreed to guide our Blues program while we take the time to understand our next move,” Mail said.

“He has existing relationships with many of the players and staff and I expect his transition into the group, starting with this week’s match against Victoria, will be seamless.”

Jaques began coaching after a stellar playing career as a top-order batter that included 11 Tests and six ODI’s for Australia as well as an extraordinary 200 first-class matches (76 for the Blues) in Australia and several counties in England. In his 11 Tests Jaques averaged 47.47 and scored three centuries and five half-centuries. He amassed more than 16,000 first class runs at an average of better than 48.

He began as an assistant coach with NSW in 2014 before taking the head coaching role with the Queensland Bulls for two seasons between 2015 and 2017. Jaques returned to NSW in 2018 as batting coach and was promoted to the head coach role ahead of the 2018-19 season.

In Jaques’ time in charge the Blues had three successive Sheffield Shield top two finishes, winning in 2019-20, while they also made two One-Day Cup finals, taking the crown in 2020-21.

“On behalf of all at Cricket NSW I’d like to thank Phil for his contribution to cricket in NSW as both a player and coach,” Mail said.

“Phil is an immensely passionate NSW person and has given his all in his time as head coach, but we feel that now is the right time to make a change. We wish Phil well in his future endeavours.”

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