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Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Steve Rixon appointed Australia's fielding coach

Former wicket-keeper Steve Rixon was Tuesday appointed as the Australian cricket team’s fielding coach

Rixon, who played Test and one-day cricket for Australia during the late 1970s and early 1980s, will join the team on the coming tours of Sri Lanka and South Africa.

Cricket Australia (CA) acting chief executive officer Michael Brown said: "We are very excited Steve is joining our staff as a fielding coach. His experience as a player and successful coach at both domestic and international level will be invaluable for our group as we prepare for tough tours to Sri Lanka and South Africa in the next six months.

“The group of coaches we now have in place has a great blend of coaching expertise and cricket experience to benefit this developing Australian side and Steve has an important role to play as we move forward,” Brown added

Rixon said he was thrilled with the appointment and is looking forward to work with the Australian team over the next two tours.

"Fielding skills play such an important role in the modern game and often proves the difference between winning and losing. I feel my experience firstly as a player and more importantly a successful coach across the world can help many of these young Australian players, together with the outstanding group of assistants Tim Nielsen has at his disposal," he said.

“The Australian team has long been known as one of the best fielding sides in world cricket and my job will not only be to maintain the good work done before but about setting the benchmark for opposition sides,” Rixon added.

Albury-born Rixon made his Test debut against India at the Gabba in 1977 and played 13 Tests and six One-day internationals for Australia as a wicket-keeper and lower-order batsman.

He played over 150-first class games, 107 of which were for New South Wales (NSW), taking 395 catches and effecting 65 stumpings. When he retired in 1988 he had donned the baggy blue more than anyone before him

In an illustrious coaching career beginning in 1989, Rixon led NSW for five seasons making the Sheffield Shield final on each occasion, winning three times and completing the Sheffield Shield and one-day competition double in 1992-93 and 1993-94.

From late 1996 to 1999 he was head coach of New Zealand taking the Black Caps to third place in one-day and Test cricket rankings. He then returned as NSW coach in 2000. For the past two seasons, Rixon has assisted Stephen Fleming with two-time champions Chennai Super Kings in the Indian Premier League, also enjoying success with victory in the 2010 Champions League Twenty20.

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