Fleming is Warne's choice for Aussie coach

MICHAEL FORBES
Last updated 22:08 30/01/2013
Stephen Fleming
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RESPECTED LEADER: Former New Zealand cricket captain Stephen Fleming.
Shane Warne
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SHANE WARNE: The former Australian great says the rift between captain Michael Clarke and Shane Watson has been blown out of proportion.

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Shane Warne has outlined his blueprint for the future of Australian cricket and it involves handing the coaching reins to former Black Caps captain Stephen Fleming.

Warne said on his website that Fleming was the best opposition captain he played against during his glittering international career that spanned from 1992 to 2007.

''I believe he [Fleming] brings a lot to the table - a calmness, an intelligent understanding of the game and a very good cricket brain.''

Warne described his good friend Fleming as a ''good communicator'' and ''a good leader of men.''

He also said Fleming had done great things as coach of the Chennai Super Kings in the Indian Premier League, having steered the side to back-to-back titles in 2010 and 2011.

When a replacement for out-going Black Caps coach John Wright was being sought last year Fleming ruled himself out, saying he was not ready to return to the grind of constant touring and he would prefer to spend time at home with his young family.

Warne's plan for Australian cricket comes after an extraordinary Twitter outburst when he lambasted the sport's local officialdom.

He said he was not referring to anyone specifically as a "muppet" when he vented on the social networking site, but it appeared Cricket Australia high performance manager and former Wallaby Pat Howard was the target of his frustration.

After calling for cricketers, "not ex rugby or any other sports people plse, seriously," to run the game in Australia, Warne continued, saying he had a plan for how the sport should be run.

That plan involved having Australian greats Rod Marsh, Mark Waugh, Damien Martyn and Glenn McGrath as selectors, with former captain and ''cricket supremo'' Mark Taylor as CEO or general manager.

Warne also named Darren Lehmann as Fleming's assistant coach, the recently-retired Mike Hussey and Michael Bevan as batting coaches, Merv Hughes and Bruce Reid as bowling coaches, and Ian Chappell as a consultant.

''I could be completely wrong and barking up the wrong tree, but in my opinion if the following people were to fill these roles, then Australian cricket would be in good hands and a great chance of getting back to number 1,'' Warne said.

''I hope this piece opens the floodgates for discussion and a positive outcome. I'm no guru, just a concerned ex-cricketer who loves Australian cricket and is passionate about the white floppy hat!''

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Fleming played 108 tests for the Black Caps during his 14-year international career, 80 of them as skipper. In One Day Internationals, he made 280 appearances for his country and was in charge for 218 of them.

He retired from international cricket in 2008 as this country's longest-serving and most successful captain.

He was known for his tactical abilities, having been put in charge of the team in 1997 when he was just 23 years old - the youngest captain in New Zealand cricketing history.

- Fairfax Media

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