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Michael Hussey to re-join Australia coaching staff for South Africa tour
Australia News

Michael Hussey to re-join Australia coaching staff for South Africa tour

Australia head coach Justin Langer has continued his vision of involving greats of the game in mentoring roles by recruiting Michael Hussey for the T20 leg of the South Africa tour. Australia's trip to South Africa will comprise six white-ball fixtures with the first T20I scheduled to commence on February 21.

Meanwhile, former all-rounder Andrew Symonds is expected to be included in the backroom staff for the short T20I tour of New Zealand in March.

Hussey has previously served as the Aussie side's mentor for their T20I assignments against Sri Lanka and Pakistan at home last year.

Langer has repeatedly voiced the importance of roping in ex-cricketers in the Australia coaching set-up for brief stints in order to lift the spirits of the current squad.

The 49-year-old believes this provides a huge opportunity for the youngsters to learn from some of the best in the sport and work on polishing their skill set.

In the past, Ricky Ponting was part of the coaching team at the ICC World Cup in 2019 while another World Cup-winning skipper Steve Waugh joined Langer's group for the Ashes.

"One of the things we’ve tried to do is bring some of the legends back around the team," Langer was quoted as saying by cricket.com.au.

"Our young guys and all our players can learn so much (from them), they're great mentors. We had 'Punter' (Ponting), we had Steve Waugh for the Ashes, we’re looking at getting Andrew Symonds to come to New Zealand with us … and Mike Hussey is coming to South Africa. It's a really good initiative."

Despite the narrative surrounding the merits of this strategy, Hussey admitted last year that temporary terms with the team fail to extract a lot of value.

Having also coached three-time IPL champions Chennai Super Kings, the talented southpaw spoke of the challenges short stints pose.

"I did a similar thing a couple of years ago and I found it a little bit awkward," he had said.

"I didn't know how much to say and how little to say. This time I feel a bit more confident about it ... I've got a pretty good relationship with a lot of the guys anyway. I've played with some of them so there's always some level of understanding.

"I do love coaching. The difficult thing is, do I want to do it on a full-time basis and be back on the road for 10 months of the year with a young family? That's not something I'm interested in at the moment.

"I remember when I was playing, I loved having the past players come into the dressing room to be part of the team. But then when you're out of it, you can feel a bit awkward and feel like you're encroaching on their time and space. So this has made all that easier."