SYDNEY: Shelley Nitschke was Tuesday appointed permanent head coach of Australia women’s cricket team having led the side to gold at the Commonwealth Games in a caretaker role. She had been Australia’s interim coach since May, when she stepped in after predecessor Matthew Mott left to join England as white-ball coach. Nitschke then helped Australia win Birmingham Commonwealth Games gold in July when they narrowly beat India in the final. “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,” she said in a statement. She will be looking to appoint a new vice-captain after the retirement of Rachel Haynes last week. “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,” Nitschke said. Nitschke is now preparing the team for Australia’s five-match Twenty20 tour of India in December and a home series against Pakistan in January before the Women’s Twenty20 World Cup in South Africa in February. During her playing career, Nitschke was one of Australia’s best all-rounders, amassing 3,000 runs and taking 150 wickets in 80 one-day internationals, 36 Twenty20 internationals and six Tests before retiring in 2011.