England have received a welcome boost after arriving in Australia with the news that bowling coach David Saker has committed to them for another 18 months.
Saker replaced Ottis Gibson as England's bowling coach in 2010 having enjoyed a playing and coaching career with Tasmania and Victoria and extended his contract in 2011.
During his time with England, he has been instrumental in helping them win two Ashes series, the ICC World Twenty20 in 2010 and reach the top of the world rankings in all three formats at different times.
However, like one of his predecessors Troy Cooley, questions about his future are never far away and the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) are understandably pleased to have kept him on board.
"David Saker has made - and continues to make - an enormous contribution to the success of the England team," Hugh Morris, ECB Managing Director - England Cricket, said.
"Since joining us in May 2010 he has worked with - and developed - an outstanding bowling unit which has been key to winning two successive Ashes series, winning a global event and climbing to number 1 in the world.
"His contribution has been such that we are aware that other countries would dearly have loved David to be a part of their management group and that is why this announcement is so important.
"It is a great a boost on the first day of this Ashes campaign that we can confirm that David Saker has committed himself to the England cause until the end of summer of 2015 which includes two Ashes series, an ICC World T20 in Bangladesh, a home campaign against India and an ICC Cricket World Cup in Australia and New Zealand."
Saker added: "I am delighted to have the opportunity to continue working with England. I have been privileged enough to have been involved in some memorable moments for English cricket over the last three and a half years and worked with some outstanding cricketers.
"Given the calibre of players in and around the side at the moment and the hunger and commitment from all involved I am very much looking forward to another very exciting period over the next couple of years starting with the immediate challenge of retaining the Ashes."
England's quest to win a fourth successive Ashes series begins with the first Test in Brisbane on 21st November.
© Cricket World 2013