Pace expert Saker hired as Australia's assistant coach

MELBOURNE, Australia (AP) David Saker has been hired as assistant coach of the Australian cricket team, set to start working under Darren Lehmann from September.

Cricket Australia said Saker, who played first-class cricket for Victoria and Tasmania states and has been coach of the Victoria state team for a season, would fill the vacancy left by former test paceman Craig McDermott.

Saker has been credited with helping to develop the careers of English fast bowlers Stuart Broad and James Anderson during a successful stint as England's pace bowling coach.

After a global search for McDermott's replacement, Lehmann said the ideal candidate was close to home and added that Saker's ''technical expertise in all facets of the game is a real bonus and very important when working with the young group we have.''