SYDNEY - Departing national assistant coach Steve Rixon on Thursday lashed out at Cricket Australia, saying he had little respect for the organisation, which he accused of unnecessary interference.
The tenure of Rixon, a former coach of New Zealand, came to an abrupt end of Wednesday when Australian head coach Darren Lehmann said he no longer fitted into his plans. The 59-year-old, a former wicketkeeper who played 13 Tests for Australia, said he was due to leave in April anyway and he had no issues with Lehmann but CA was another matter. "I have no problems with the coaching staff, I have no problems with Boof (Lehmann). I can't quite say that about Cricket Australia," he told Sky Sports Radio.
Asked what the issues were, he replied: "I'm not getting into a slanging match. I have very little respect for the organisation so I think we best just leave it there." When pressed, he added: "I don't like a lot of things they do. They interfere with a lot of the cricket decisions over the period of time and I don't necessarily agree with that. "It's none of my business at the end of the day. I do what I do -- I go out and do it to the best I know how. But it's probably just draining."
His scorn appeared to be largely directed at CA's high-performance chief Pat Howard, a former international rugby player. Asked if Howard was the interfering staffer he was referring to, Rixon said: "Let me say, I hope he was a good rugby player." However, Rixon said Lehmann and captain Michael Clarke were well-placed to run their own ship and ignore any internal or external pressure. "With Michael now being very content with where he is, Boof's obviously come in with a stronger approach to that," he said.
"That's why I think cricket's in a very good shape with Australia. We're starting to get all those bits and pieces (together). "Darren will eventually get a team around him that he's very, very comfortable with and that's fine. That's the way life is, that's the way it is with coaching." In announcing Rixon's departure, Lehmann said he keen to use more specialist consultants, with Shane Warne last week named as spin coach ahead of Australia's World Twenty20 campaign in Bangladesh. "These changes to how we support our players means it is no longer necessary to have a full-time assistant coach travelling with the team," he said. "Steve has made an outstanding contribution to Australian cricket over a long period of time and played an important role with the national team since 2011."
Rixon said the plan was always for him to depart after the World Twenty20, which takes place in March-April.