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Mike Young returns as Australian fielding coach

IANS
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1.76K   //    10 Jan 2015, 17:46 IST
Mike Young

Melbourne, Jan 10 - Australia's squad for the tri-series, involving India and England, and the ICC Cricket World Cup will be boosted by the return of American fielding guru Mike Young.

According to the Cricket Australia (CA) website, current fielding consultant Greg Blewett will be in Adelaide in the coming days for the birth of his child. Young, therefore, will link up with the side after the 15-man squad for the tri-series and the World Cup is announced in Sydney on Sunday.

Blewett will return later during the tri-series and work with Young for the rest of the summer.

A CA spokesperson said the decision to bring Young into the squad was made months ago due to the impending birth of Blewett's child and is not linked to Australia's fielding performance during the just-concluded four-match Test series against India.

Blewett, a former state and national teammate of head coach Darren Lehmann, was unveiled as Australia's fielding consultant in August.

Initially appointed for the tours of Zimbabwe and the United Arab Emirates (UAE), he has remained with the squad for the current series against India.

Blewett's appointment came last year after Young, who has worked intermittently with the Aussies for fifteen years, returned to the US following the tour of South Africa in February and March.

Young, a former minor league baseball player and coach, first became involved in cricket in 1999 when he was invited to join a Queensland training session by then Bulls coach John Buchanan.

When Buchanan was elevated to the Australia coaching job, Young was brought on board and was credited with a sharp increase in Australia's fielding standards up until 2005, when his contract wasn't renewed.

When Australia's fielding slipped during their 2005 Ashes loss, Young was again called on by Buchanan. He was involved in Australia's World Cup wins in 2003 and 2007 and their Ashes whitewashes in 2006-07 and 2013-14, and has also worked as a consultant with teams in India, England, South Africa and New Zealand.

This summer will be Young's third separate stint with the side in less than two years. He was brought in by Lehmann as a fielding consultant for the home Ashes series and the tour of South Africa last summer and had previously been used by Lehmann's predecessor Mickey Arthur ahead of the 2013 Champions Trophy in England.

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