McDonald to remain Royals head coach despite Australia role

McDonald will be allowed to continue his short-term coaching assignments in other countries despite his appointment as Australia's senior assistant coach.

Andrew McDonald has been granted the permission to continue as the head coach of Rajasthan Royals.   -  SPECIAL ARRANGEMENT

Andrew McDonald, who was named the senior assistant for the Australian men’s team coach Justin Langer on Wednesday, will remain the head coach of Indian Premier League (IPL) franchise Rajasthan Royals.

Top officials at the Royals have confirmed to Sportstar that McDonald’s new role with Cricket Australia will not affect his IPL commitments.

In fact, in a first for Australian cricket, McDonald will be allowed to continue his short-term coaching assignments — as the head coach of Royals as well as his coaching role in Birmingham as part of England’s newly launched league — Hundred.

Earlier, Cricket Australia did not allow other assistants to have overseas assignments, but McDonald has been given the ‘freedom’ to do so.

“As far as we are concerned, he will continue as our head coach. There are no changes,” one of the top Royals officials said.

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Last week, the IPL franchise replaced Paddy Upton with McDonald. The 38-year-old has an envious track record in coaching. He guided Victoria to clinch the Sheffield Shield in the 2016-17 season and also led the team to its domestic treble last summer. He also helped Melbourne Renegades win the maiden Big Bash League.

For Australia, the position of an assistant coach has been vacant since David Saker — who worked with Mitchell Starc, Josh Hazlewood and Pat Cummins — stepped down in February.

Since then, Langer has involved his former team-mates Ricky Ponting and Steve Waugh as mentors.

But now, the Aussie coach feels that McDonald would complement the current coaching panel.

“I have no doubt his all-round knowledge and man management skills will be a positive addition to our team,” he told the mediapersons in Sydney.