Shelley Nitschke has been appointed full-time head coach of the Australian women's cricket team ©Getty Images

Shelley Nitschke has been hired as the Australian women's cricket head coach on a four-year contract after leading the team to a gold medal at Birmingham 2022.

The 45-year-old held the role on an interim basis at the Commonwealth Games, following the departure of Matthew Mott, who left to take over as the England men's white-ball head coach.

Nitschke, a former all-rounder who represented Australia 122 times across all formats, is due to stay as head coach of the Perth Scorchers in the Women's Big Bash League for the upcoming season before stepping down to take the national job on a full-time basis.

Nitschke had served as an assistant coach for the Australian women's team since early 2018.

"I'm honoured to have been given this opportunity to lead the team full-time and to continue to build on the legacy created by Matthew Mott," Nitschke said.

"While I enjoyed my time working as assistant coach, I feel the time is right to step up and lead this group in what's shaping as a new era with a new-look coaching group and the retirement of Rachael Haynes.

"The loss of Rach will no doubt be felt, but it presents a great opportunity for others to put their hands up both from a leadership perspective as well as with the bat and in the field.

Australian great Rachael Haynes retired from cricket following the Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games ©Getty Images
Australian great Rachael Haynes retired from cricket following the Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games ©Getty Images

"Our challenge is to ensure the team continues to evolve; we've seen teams like India take their game to the next level and it’s important that the players feel they have the support they need to keep getting better every day.

"Our team continues to go from strength to strength and I'm excited to see what this group can achieve next; there's some important cricket on the horizon including the ICC Women’s T20 World Cup in February and away Ashes next winter, so it's a great time to be involved."

Australia are scheduled to have a five-game Twenty20 tour of India in December before hosting one-day internationals and T20s against Pakistan in January.

These matches will be part of the country's preparation for the 2023 Women's T20 World Cup in South Africa, where they are bidding to win a third consecutive title.

Next year's schedule also consists of the Ashes in England and a multi-format tour of India.

Another multi-format series is due to played against South Africa in early 2024 before another T20 World Cup in Bangladesh.

The next 50-over World Cup is set for India in 2025, and Australia will be the defending champions.

Nitschke's contract length means she shoudl also be at the help for the Victoria 2026 Commonwealth Games, where women's T20 cricket is again on the agenda.

Another T20 World Cup is planned to follow in the same year in England.

"Shelley did an outstanding job in an interim capacity during the Commonwealth Games and was the clear standout candidate in the recruitment process," Ben Oliver, Cricket Australia high-performance manager, said.

"Shelley is an incredibly well-respected coach with a proven track record. She knows what it takes to be successful at an international level and brings significant coaching and playing experience to the role.

"She's been a great mentor for the spin group since joining as an assistant in 2018, helping develop them into some of the world’s leading bowlers, and we look forward to seeing what the team can achieve with Shelley at the helm.

"We have begun recruitment for the vacant assistant coaching roles and look forward to Shelley's input in that process."

Australia are now searching for two assistant coaches following Ben Sawyer's exit to coach the New Zealand's women's team in June.