Leicestershire have revamped their coaching structure under their elite performance director Andrew McDonald. In wide-ranging changes, Keith Piper and Nic Pothas gain new roles while Ben Smith and Lloyd Tennant leave the county.
Three years as the Championship’s bottom club have been the catalyst for change even though Tennant, in particular, can point to a successful record in second XI cricket.
Piper, the former Warwickshire keeper, will take on the role of elite development coach, the South African Pierre de Bruyn is the new second XI and assistant skills coach while Nic Pothas, another former keeper, at Hampshire, has been named as academy director.
Charlie Shreck, the veteran seam bowler, has also been given additional responsibilities as bowling development coach alongside his playing commitments.
Leicester-born Piper has worked alongside Leicestershire’s coaching staff since July. He spent 16 years at Warwickshire as a player, figuring in more than 800 dismissals for the county in all formats, before becoming their second XI coach and has also been involved in coaching England’s emerging wicket-keepers as well as offering support to the national sides of New Zealand and Pakistan.
De Bruyn, 38, was an all-rounder who had a 16-year professional career, scoring 4,637 first-class runs at 37.09 and also taking 108 wickets at 29.63. He has most recently worked as head coach and technical director with TuksCricket, from the University of Pretoria, winners of six domestic titles won since 2010-11.
Currently studying for his ECB Level 4 coaching certificate, Pothas had a 19-year professional career including three ODI appearances for South Africa and nine years at Hampshire. Upon retiring from playing, Pothas worked as Guernsey’s first director of cricket. He has also been a wicket-keeping and batting coach with Sussex.
Leicestershire’s chief executive Wasim Khan said: ” We are delighted to be bringing in three high-quality people to be working alongside Andrew McDonald. We have made some big additions to the playing squad over the last few weeks and it’s fantastic that we have now finalised our coaching restructure.
Leicestershire have signed experienced players in Paul Horton, the Lancashire batsman, Essex batsman Mark Pettini and Middlesex allrounder Neil Dexter, but their bowling resources still look meagre.
Tennant’s involvement as player and coach at Leicestershire spanned 29 years. He was part of the coaching team for five T20 Finals Days. His myriad roles at Grace Road included bowling coach, senior coach and academy director and he was in charge of the second XI that won an unprecedented domestic treble in 2014. He has also served as England U-19 bowling coach in two World Cups.
Smith had a 16-year association with Leicestershire as a player and coach. After leaving to join Worcestershire at the end of the 2001 season, he returned as batting coach in 2012 and went on to take a role as senior coach, only to be involved in one of the worst periods in the county’s history as an exodus of players contributed to bleak times.
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