No longer required: Steve Rixon oversees fielding drills on Australia’s tour of England last year. Photo: Ryan Pierse
Outgoing national team assistant coach Steve Rixon has taken a parting shot at Cricket Australia and Pat Howard, saying of the high-performance chief and former Wallaby: “I hope he was a good rugby player”.
CA announced on Wednesday that Rixon would not be part of Darren Lehmann’s staff as the head coach endeavours to assemble new-look backroom set-up around the Ashes winners.
The former Test wicketkeeper maintains he is on good terms with Lehmann despite his axing but in a radio interview on Thursday he took aim at his former employer.
“I have no problems with the coaching staff, I have no problems with Boof [Lehmann]. I can’t quite say that about Cricket Australia,” Rixon said on Sky Sports Radio’s Big Sports Breakfast.
Asked what his beef with CA was, he said: “I’m not getting into a slanging match. I have very little respect for the organisation so I think we better just leave it there.”
However, Rixon then added: “I don’t like a lot of things they do; they interfere with a lot of the cricket decisions over the period of time and I don’t necessarily agree with that.
“It’s none of my business at the end of the day. I do what I do – I go out and do it to the best I know how – but it’s probably just draining.”
Asked on the program whether it was Howard, CA’s general manager of team performance, who had an issue with Rixon replied: “Let me say, I hope he was a good rugby player.”
Howard told Fairfax Media in an interview a fortnight ago that he had deliberately taken a step back from the day-to-day Australian team to allow Lehmann the freedom to operate in his own way.
It appears that has not been enough to appease Rixon, 59, although the former NSW and New Zealand coach applauded what Lehmann had achieved since taking the job last June.
“He’s come in with some heavy hands and he’s done a very good job in sorting a few of these things out and I compliment him for that,” he said.
Rixon will remain as fielding coach for Chennai Super Kings in the Indian Premier League.