Sydney, Jan 15 ANI | 9 months ago

Cricket Australia high performance chief Pat Howard, who was highly visible during the Mickey Arthur era, standing up in front of controversies, has said he deliberately took a step back from the operation of the Australian team to allow coach Darren Lehmann to steer them to Ashes glory.

The increased distance between Howard and Lehmann's team this summer was no accident.

Howard said he felt the time was right to leave Lehmann and Clarke to get on with their work.

The Australian men's team remains a key area of Howard's work, as he conducts a weekly phone conversation with selectors while also overseeing areas such as players' recovery from injuries and their schedules.

His retreat from everyday role with Lehmann's resurgent team came after a year in which he featured in several high-profile events, The Sydney Morning Herald reports.

Howard and James Sutherland's positions were in doubt if Clarke's team lost the Ashes again this summer after their 4-0 defeat in India and then 3-0 loss in England.

Howard, who encouraged Australia to celebrate its 5-0 Ashes win, said his attention was already on the horizon and beyond.

He said he has been looking six months, 12 months ahead right through to the World Cup, looking into the fixture list and how best it can be optimised.

(Posted on 15-01-2014)

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