January 13, 2003

ECB appoint Tony Middleton as Hampshire Academy Director

Hampshire Press Release

Former Hampshire opening batsman, Tony Middleton, has been appointed by the England and Wales Cricket Board as Hampshire Cricket's Academy Director.

Hampshire Manager Director
Nick Pike with Tony Middleton
The 38-year-old from Winchester was among ten applicants, some of them from overseas. Middleton played for Hampshire in two winning one-day finals at Lord's before retiring in 1995. Hampshire have financed the Academy since it was launched in September 1998 but will now receive a £50,000 annual licence fee from the ECB and Sport England.

"The support and guidance from the ECB and a network of County Academies will allow us to expand and improve the quality of our Academy students' programme." said Middleton.

Having run the Academy since it opened, he is responsible for player recruitment and will oversee the entire development of players aged 13-18. Last season, when he also coached Hampshire's second XI, his Academy side gained promotion to the Southern Premier League's top flight.

Two highly-rated young Hampshire first teamers, Chris Tremlett and John Francis, graduated from the Academy and there are currently six players in the Academy, half of whom live outside the county, who are all considered to be potential first-class cricketers. The extra funding allows for the programme to be extended to accommodate up to 12 players.

"Tony Middleton is highly respected, not only as a coach but as an individual," says Tim Tremlett, Hampshire's Director of Cricket. "He had Hampshire's interests very much at heart and will be able to carry out the ECB's mission statement of taking young cricketers from the playground to the Test match arena."

Tony Middleton made his Hampshire debut in 1984, but his best season came eight years later when he scored nearly 2,000 runs in first-class cricket, including six centuries. He was chosen for that winter's England 'A' tour to Australia.