SA Cricket’s Silver Bullet
Saturday, 21st March, 2020
By Peter Argent
Without a Sheffield Shield triumph since 1995-96 and nearly 10 years since the last one-day victory at Adelaide Oval against Tasmania, it can be easily argued that South Australian cricket and specifically the SA Redbacks are back to square one, in the doldrums.
With any chance of salvaging the 2019-20 campaign lost when they endured a large 182-run round nine loss to Victoria over the March long-weekend, which meant they fell out of the race for a finals berth.
In a tight 2019-20 Sheffield Shield competition, where everyone is chasing down the competition yardstick New South Wales, the Redbacks are at the bottom of the ladder, yet again.
On the back of that result, and poor four-day cricket form over the past three seasons, senior coach of the SA Redbacks Jamie Siddons - in what is called a mutual agreement - parted ways with his employer the South Australian Cricket Association.
Assistant coach Greg Blewett was given the role to lead the team in its last Marsh Sheffield Shield game of the season against Queensland at Karen Rolton Oval.
“Unfortunately the Redbacks have not been performing to our expectations in recent seasons,” SACA Chief Executive Keith Bradshaw said.
“We acknowledge that the Redbacks played in consecutive Sheffield Shield finals in Jamie’s first two seasons as head coach, and also played in One-Day Cup finals in 2015-16 and 2017-18.
“I also know that Jamie is very proud that South Australia has had several players represent Australia across all three formats in recent months.”
This still doesn’t change the fact South Australian men’s cricket hasn’t seen any silverware for a long time!
To quickly regain strength and confidence in SACA cricket, the strategically correct decision needs to be made about the right person for the job, along with a complete overhaul the high performance structure at the SACA.
So is Jeff Vaughan the “Silver Bullet” that can revitalize cricket in SA.
The Silver City export has a strong resume and is highly respected within the Australian first-class cricket community.
A member of the Barrier’s 1990 SACA Country Cricket Championships title and the inaugural Favell Foundation scholarship holder, Vaughan played 28 first-class games and 24 domestic one-day matches for the Redbacks.
A solid performer on this stage with three first class hundreds, but certainly not a star.
Our winter passion of Aussie Rules football is littered with cases of mid-range players developing into outstanding coaches.
Vaughan has completed all the building blocks.
He had roles in South Australian coaching ranks for six years from 2009 as South Australian Redbacks and Adelaide Strikers Assistant Coach, and two stints as the Interim Coach for the state, with his primary role as the team’s batting and fielding Coach.
Previous to that he was the SA Outbacks coach for three campaigns at the Australian Country Cricket Championships from 2007.
Vaughan then had a four-year stint back in private business before being offered a role with Cricket Tasmania in 2017.
He was elevated to senior coach of the Tasmanian Tigers Sheffield Shield side at the start of the 2019-2020 campaign, as well as having a role within the Hurricanes franchise in this summer Big Bash League 09.
Noted for his communication skills and ability to unite groups of men, if he can be prized out of the Apple Isle, Vaughan would be a prized candidate for the Redbacks’ top job.