County news November 6, 2013

Houghton gets role in Somerset restructuring

ESPNcricinfo staff

Somerset have moved to strengthen their coaching structure by bringing in Dave Houghton, the former Zimbabwe captain and Derbyshire's batting coach for the last two seasons, and promoting Jason Kerr to assist with the bowlers. Andy Hurry will no longer deal with the first team, moving into the role of high performance director, with responsibility for players coming through the academy and 2nd XI.

Dave Nosworthy, Somerset's director of cricket, denied the restructuring amounted to a demotion for Hurry, telling the Bristol Post: "Andy's new role is a vital role in the club, to get that area sorted out. There is no better person for the role than 'Sarge' in terms of the experience he has had at the top level.

"He has been at the club for a long time, and being on the road for an eight-year period with the first team has been taxing. But he has done a superb job and has been excellent - and now he has a chance to look into other areas."

Houghton, who averaged 43.05 in 22 Tests for Zimbabwe, parted company with Derbyshire last month after the club announced they could no longer afford a specialist batting coach. He was previously Derbyshire's director of cricket between 2004 and 2007 and also coached Zimbabwe. Kerr played for Somerset between 1993 and 2001 and moves up from his role in charge of the academy.

The changes follow a review of Somerset's coaching set-up, after a season in which they flirted with relegation to Division Two of the Championship and suffered semi-final and quarter-final defeats in the YB40 and FLt20 respectively. Somerset will now have specialist batting and bowling coaches for the first time, something Nosworthy admitted had been "an area of concern" since his arrival for 2013, replacing Brian Rose.

"We are really excited to have someone of Dave Houghton's stature and credibility on board and know that he will have a lot to offer us going forward," Nosworthy said. "He is a good man with an excellent work ethic and I am really looking forward to having his expertise around.

"The appointment of Jason Kerr from within our own structures is also really exciting as he has the respect of the players and will no doubt also bring his vast knowledge and expertise into the first eleven environment. I look forward to working closely with Dave and Jason and together taking this team forward."

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  • Graham on November 11, 2013, 17:14 GMT

    @ZCF OUTKAST You know as well as I do that Houghton would really like to be using his talent in southern Africa specifically Zimbabwe but he cant the regime running ZC cannot even afford bowling coach right now..You forget that Houghton worked blood sweat and tears to provide young Zim cricketers with a fine academy. This has produced some excellent players ..Zimbabwes loss is Somersets gain...Fine man.

  • John on November 8, 2013, 13:08 GMT

    @ Paul_Somerset on (November 6, 2013, 18:47 GMT) I'm sad you're not renewing your season ticket as I enjoyed your mini reports. I can't comment re Nosworthy as I don't know enough about him and his input but re Houghton - I have to go along with StoneRose and Juice here in that Derbyshire hugely overachieved in getting promoted in the 1st place and even then I don't think they finished bottom in the end - many would have thought they would finish well adrift at the bottom

  • Simon on November 8, 2013, 11:19 GMT

    For Deryshire to get promoted two seasons ago was something very special, I'm sure Houghton was intergral to this. We have been crying out for a specialist batting and bowling coach, and there arent many coaches with a test average of 43 plus sat around (except on tv or with the england set up) so this looks a good investment. Kerr likewise,we are desperate for some real bowling experience to concentrate on and develop our young bowlers. As for Hurry, the guy has simply got too much going for him; coaching experience, ability, respect, drive and confidence to let him go, and developing the next generation is possibly the most important job of the lot, if you look at deferred success. Other than Hurry I would have said Rose was best placed, so its a great appointment. People forget we have a bowling attack in complete transition, and for the first time in years not one of our batsman went big. Plus Nosworthy was not playing!! And his restructuring could be his first master stroke.

  • ZCF on November 8, 2013, 7:10 GMT

    Paul, it appears your ECB and English clubs' bosses have an obsession with your Southern African based brothers! In another 3-5 years I doubt they'll be any available in Zimbabwe/South Africa, so what then? I see humble steps are already being made to raid Australia! I wonder what's wrong with the English players there already?

  • Dummy4 on November 7, 2013, 19:18 GMT

    Personally I think this a huge step forward for the club. It was clear last year that the batsmen needed some support and the youngsters needed someone to mentor them. Part of me thinks Tresco was unofficially doing this and suffered as a consequence. As for Nosworthy, the jury is still out. Yes, our worst season for a long time, but it was bound to happen sooner or later? This season will be the acid test. He really needs to show the fans what he is about. Just need to bring in another English batsman and we will be ready for the new season.

  • James on November 7, 2013, 9:49 GMT

    @Paul: I think it is a bit harsh to say Houghton "just got his previous club relegated", Derbys were always going to struggle.

  • Paul on November 6, 2013, 18:47 GMT

    This is awful.

    We now have a new batting coach who has just got his previous club relegated; the coach responsible for Somerset's startling recent improvement is effectively removed of the First XI's dressing room; while Nosworthy, whose arrival coincided with the club's worst season for years, now assumes supreme command. Nosworthy may have shown little aptitude for County cricket. I shall not be renewing my membership. I am gutted.

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