Sport

Ipswich foursome play vital roles in Ashes win

STANDING TALL: Ipswich-bred cricketer Craig McDermott is assistant coach of the Australian team which regained the Ashes.
STANDING TALL: Ipswich-bred cricketer Craig McDermott is assistant coach of the Australian team which regained the Ashes. AAP IMAGE

IPSWICH-bred national assistant coach Craig McDermott was straight back to work yesterday after sharing in Australia's Ashes cricket triumph.

McDermott was staying in Perth to work with other Australian bowlers Pat Cummins, James Pattinson and Mitchell Starc at the WACA nets before flying to Sydney to help the Thunders and Sixers Big Bash League sides.

He'll rejoin the victorious Test squad in Melbourne for the Fourth Test starting on Boxing Day.

The former Ipswich Grammar School student shared in Tuesday night's Ashes celebrations in Perth.

He was part of the Ipswich regional connection involved in helping Australia regain the prized urn.

The others were Ipswich-bred allrounder Shane Watson, Laidley product Andy Bichel and former St Edmund's student Damian Mednis.

As is the case in many elite achievements, the local quartet played a major role.

"It's a great sporting town,'' McDermott said.

"There's been a lot of great sports men and women come out of the Ipswich area. Myself and Watto and you've got the Langers and the Coynes and there's been heaps of players since.

"It's a great town to grow up and play sport in.''

McDermott, 48, played in teams with Bichel before he became a national selector.

The Australian assistant coach also praised the efforts of Watson, who smashed a memorable century in the Third Test against England.

Mednis is the team's strength and conditioning coach.

McDermott worked with Mednis during his time with the Queensland Bulls, where McDermott's sons Alister and Ben are contracted players.

"He's done a great job with the Australian side so far,'' McDermott said. "He's done that with the Bulls as well.''

Former Ipswich and District Athletics Club high jumper Mednis also had success working with the Queensland Reds and Munster in rugby, before joining the Bulls and accepting his latest national role.

"I talk to them (the players) about their bowling and the way in which they are preparing for their bowling and then their fitness side and strength work is handled by Damian,'' McDermott said.

"He's great to work with.''

McDermott made his Test debut, aged 19, when living at Raceview.

While delighted Australia had the Ashes back in their grasp, the former national bowling spearhead said the job was far from finished.

"Everyone had a great time,'' McDermott said of the post-game celebrations.

"But we've still got some work to do because we'd like to make it 5-0.

"We still want to get better and better. We just want to be the best team in the world in all three formats but first and foremost getting our Test record back after that loss to India 4-0.

"That was a bit of a wake-up call.''

McDermott was especially pleased how Australia's leading bowlers Mitch Johnson, Ryan Harris, Peter Siddle and Nathan Lyon combined.

"They are a great unit and they're great mates,'' he said.

"We've done our homework. I don't think in the history of the game that in three Tests in a row, a team has chased 500 to win and obviously lost big time in all three.''

And as for the importance of Ipswich in his cricketing life, McDermott plans to return soon.

"I'm looking forward to getting back to Ipswich to do some more coaching in the new year,'' he said.

Topics:  andy bichel ashes craig mcdermott darren lehmann shane watson



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