County news February 29, 2012

Norman Gifford back at New Road

ESPNcricinfo staff

Norman Gifford, the former England spinner, has returned to Worcestershire after a 30-year absence to become the county's new spin-bowling coach on a part-time basis.

The move is part of a shuffle of the coaching staff at New Road. Worcestershire's previous spin coach, Damien D'Oliveria, is now more involved with the batsman after specialist batting coach, Ben Smith, left for Leicestershire.

Gifford, 71, will work with England Lions offspinning allrounder Moeen Ali, left-arm orthodox Shaaiq Choudhry and 20-year-old Brett D'Oliveria. "Norman has been brilliant since joining us," Worcestershire director of Cricket Steve Rhodes said.

Having been Worcestershire captain for nine seasons, Gifford is etched in New Road folklore. He led them to the 1974 County Championship and took 2,068 first-class wickets with his slow left-arm bowling. He also played 15 Tests for England between 1964 and 1973.

Gifford began his coaching career with Sussex before becoming first-team coach at Durham for five years. He then left to take up a coaching role at Ardingly College back in Sussex.

He joins at a time where Worcestershire are looking to make further improvements to New Road by building a hotel. Their planning application is due to be heard by Worcester City Council on March 1.