Julia Price, the former Australia wicketkeeper, has been appointed as Brisbane Heat’s assistant coach, marking the first instance of a female taking up a coaching role of a men’s team in the BBL.
Price, who represented Australia in 94 international games between 1996 and 2005, has vast coaching experience. She is currently the USA women’s head coach. In the past, she has mentored Tasmania – her state team – in the Women’s National Cricket League and coached Hobart Hurricanes for their first three seasons.
Price expressed her excitement about her newest role on air, during Channel Seven‘s broadcast of the WBBL final on Sunday, December 8. “I’m really looking forward to the opportunity to be around the guys and seeing how they do it differently to what the girls do.
— Brisbane Heat (@HeatBBL) December 8, 2019
“Having been in the Hurricanes set up for the WBBL, it will be interesting to see how the BBL does it. I had a bit to do with the Hurricanes boys, but this will be a completely different level now … I can learn off both the players and the coaching staff.”
Darren Lehmann, who is head coach of the Brisbane side, was also in the commentary box alongside Price at the time. He explained the thought process behind the appointment of Price and expressed confidence that more female coaches will be appointed to guide men’s teams in the BBL.
“We’d been chatting about whether there were some professional development opportunities for her through her USA role and we just went from there,” Lehmann said. “She has an excellent cricket brain and plenty of experience as a head coach, so I can see her fitting quite neatly into our set-up.
“We knew we had Ryan Harris [the Brisbane bowling coach] with us for the start of the BBL before he goes to the U19 World Cup, but there was still a position available for us to fill on the coaching staff and we thought this was a great chance to innovate and think outside the box. I’m pleased the Heat have been able to go in a direction that we haven’t seen yet in the BBL in having a woman on the coaching staff, but I don’t believe it will be the last time it happens either.”