From boyhood backyard cricket in Broken Hill to assistant coach of the Australian team, it’s been a 30-year journey for Jeff Vaughan.
His love of cricket has taken him from outback NSW to Adelaide, Tasmania and now to the top of cricketing Australia’s coaching ranks.
“It’s a proud moment for me and I often think about my growth and development through the North Broken Hill Cricket Club there,” said Vaughan after his appointment on Thursday as assistant coach of the Australian cricket team.
Growing up in Broken Hill
He credits his siblings for teaching him the ‘patience’ throughout his youth that he would go on to use through his playing days and into his coaching.
“I spent plenty of time playing backyard cricket in McColloch Street.
I had two older sisters, and one older sister used to bully me around and only let me bowl my little gentle off-spinners to her, so I didn’t get to do much batting in the backyard,” he said.
But that didn’t stop him from representing South Australia for a number of years as a player, before transitioning into coaching, before later becoming Tasmania’s head coach in 2020.
That is where he will spend the next couple of months, before starting his new role.
“We’re into week three of our pre-season here, so I will just make sure I set that up before I head off, have a week or two off and get into the Australian system mid-August,” he said.
Praised by players
During his short stint with the Tassie Tigers which began in 2017, the incoming batting coach has received plenty of praise from players like Matthew Wade, who said Vaughan is, “As good a batting coach as I’ve worked with”.
“He’s got a great ability to be able to let players make their own decisions and if it doesn’t work then he’ll provide another opportunity to help you find a way,” according to Wade.
Then tailoring and care he treats each player with is one of the key elements of Vaughan’s batting philosophy and part of the reason he’s been so successful and has now been elevated to Australia’s coaching caper.
“There’s no one rule for every player, I guess it’s developing a relationship with them, understanding the player and what they’re trying to achieve … providing ideas and suggestions and go on a journey of exploration with them.”
Broken Hill raised, the father of two still spends time in Broken Hill every year visiting his mother.
His mother, Patricia, is one of his greatest supporters, is very vocal on how the game should be officiated and played.
“Pat will have an issue with some of the umpiring I think. She’ll be telling me to pass onto the batting group to watch the ball and move their feet.”
Onwards and upwards from here
The Broken Hill backyard bowler turned batting coach is looking forward to what the future holds in his new role.
“It’s like any small child’s dream that loves cricket.
“They have a desire at about five or six years of age to represent their country and pull on the baggy green.
“Unfortunately, I wasn’t good enough to be able to do that.