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January 31, 2013
Dougie Brown, who has succeeded Ashley Giles as Warwickshire's director of cricket, admitted that the elevation of his predecessor to England's one-day coach had created an opportunity for him at "a perfect moment" in his own career.
Brown landed the job from a field of more than 40 applicants that chief executive Colin Povey confirmed included the current West Indies coach, Ottis Gibson. He said he was beginning to take notice of vacancies elsewhere when the departure of Giles offered the unexpected chance of promotion at Edgbaston.
"I wasn't about to jump ship," he said. "But I have made no secret of the fact that I have ambitions to cut my teeth at the next level up. There are only a certain number of director of cricket roles that come up and I would be lying if I was not looking at what was available.
"But if you are going elsewhere without experience you are always fighting against internal candidates, which seems to be the preferred way of doing things. So this came at a perfect time for me in my career."
Brown, who made his debut as a Warwickshire player in 1992 and had been working as assistant coach and academy director under Giles, inherits a team that won the County Championship in 2012, reached the final of the Clydesdale Bank 40 and was denied progression in the Friends Life T20, it could be argued, only because of the weather.
That presents an unusual situation for a newly appointed head coach and Brown acknowledges that his approach to the job will have to reflect that, namely by resisting any urge to bring his own stamp to the job by making substantial changes.
"It is unusual in that in the majority of cases a new director of cricket comes in because the previous one was not up to much and clearly that was not the case," he said. "People wanting success again and again creates its own pressure but I have inherited a side with a great age profile who are very much driven towards improvement.
"I think we know the strengths and qualities that won us the title. We know what we are good at doing, we know our values, we try to make sure that every day we give our full attention to what we set out to give our full attention to. Consistency was one of the key reasons we have been successful.
"There are areas we need to improve on, especially in T20. But for the time being there is no necessity to change. We want to be slicker, smarter, more efficient but we don't need to change much."
Apart from Gibson and the England fast bowling coach David Saker, Brown prevailed over a candidates list that also included Graeme Welch, Warwickshire's fast bowling coach and a popular figure with many of the players. Welch remains on the coaching staff as assistant to his former colleague and Brown admitted the situation had not been without difficulty.
"It has been difficult doing the day job in the circumstances," Brown said. "We knew that one or both of us would be disappointed and I will not pretend that 'Pop' is not very disappointed not to have landed the job.
"We had a chat yesterday and today. He is a very professional guy and is very clear what his job is and how we take the situation forward. There is nothing different in our relationship now compared with before the process started.
"He is an outstanding bowling coach and someone I know very well having played with him all through my career. We have seen evidence of his work being very successful in the last couple of years and I hope that success continues.
"I think the players have been incredibly mature. Thing have meandered a little lately with the players desperate for a bit of direction and you can see evidence of relief in the dressing room that we now know where we are going."
Povey was keen to emphasise Welch's importance to Warwickshire and expressed a hope that the disappointment would not affect his commitment and loyalty.
"'Pop' was interviewed and made a very good presentation but at the end of the day there was only one job," he said. "We have changed his title to assistant coach to reflect the fact that his influence is much wider than just bowling coach.
"He is disappointed but he is a guy like Dougie who is Warwickshire through and through and who puts the team first and I hope he will feel he can carry on as before, helping us lead the team."
Povey denied the story that Saker had been offered the job, in which Saker claimed he was misquoted. On Gibson and Saker, Povey said: "If I was in the position of coming to the end of my contract, I think I would take a look around the market and see what was available as well. But David was not offered the job, nor was anyone else before Dougie."
© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.