County news January 7, 2014

Richardson confirmed as Warwickshire bowling coach

ESPNcricinfo staff

Alan Richardson, one of the Championship's most reliable performers in recent years, has confirmed his retirement from cricket in order to take up the role of bowling coach at Warwickshire. He replaces Graeme Welch, announced as Derbyshire's new performance director earlier in the day, and Richardson's departure, even at the age of 38, will leave a huge hole for Worcestershire to fill.

In four seasons at New Road, he claimed 254 first-class wickets at 22.07. Richardson had been due to play on for one final season but, after Welch's move created a vacancy, he will instead make an immediate switch, rejoining the county he played for between 1998 and 2004.

"I have been working on my coaching qualifications for some time and, whilst I had planned to have one more season as a player with Worcestershire, this is a fantastic opportunity for me in this next stage of my career with Warwickshire," Richardson said.

"I have thoroughly enjoyed my time at New Road and am grateful for the understanding that the management and coaching team at Worcestershire have shown since I informed them of my decision to retire early. I am looking forward to the challenge ahead and cannot wait to get stuck into working with one of the finest bowling attacks in the country."

Richardson and his distinctive "windmill" action have been part of county cricket for almost two decades, during which time he claimed 569 first-class wickets at 26.37. After starting his career with Derbyshire in 1994, Richardson had respectable spells with Warwickshire and Middlesex before joining Worcestershire in 2010 and enjoying the best period of his career, being named one of Wisden's five Cricketers of the Year in 2012. Ungainly as his method of delivery was, Warwickshire's next generation could do worse than tilting at windmills.

Warwickshire have some of the best bowling resources in the country for Richardson to work with, including England internationals Chris Woakes and Boyd Rankin, and Lions candidates Chris Wright and Keith Barker. He will have a hard act to follow, however. Welch, known as "Pop", was highly regarded for moulding the attack that led Warwickshire to the 2012 Championship.

Dougie Brown, Warwickshire's director of cricket, said: "Alan is someone who we know very well from his previous spell with Warwickshire and he is respected throughout the game. His experience and knowledge will help continue the excellent work that 'Pop' has done over recent times with our bowling unit and I am looking forward to working with him."

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Mark on January 8, 2014, 15:39 GMT

    On reflection this will probably be the right move. It is always best to get out at the top, rather than go on one season too far (as Mark Ramprakhash did) and struggle.

    Those who followed his struggles to get onto the field at Middlesex over his last couple of seasons will wonder how he managed to stay fit and produce such consistent results for Worcestershire. It was that dire fitness record that robbed him of a likely England call-up when he was told that he was the next cab off the rank. By the time he got to New Road his chance was gone.

  • Dummy4 on January 8, 2014, 14:06 GMT

    The way he bowled over the last few years, part of me is glad he has retired, especially with the way he tore Kent (my team) apart.

    I'm sure he will do very well coaching and will be interesting to see the impact his coaching will have on what is a very good county attack.

    All the best Richo!

  • Danga on January 8, 2014, 6:33 GMT

    It's a pity he never got to play for England over the last 4 year's consistently in the top 5 county bowlers,all the best to a top man and top bowler.

    He has proven you never to old to perform at the highest level.

  • Sanjay on January 7, 2014, 17:35 GMT

    Best Wishes to Pop, a top man, delighted to see him being appointed to an important role at Derbyshire. Thoroughly deserved. We look forward to seeing him whenever Derbyshire visit Edgbaston.

    Alan Richardson could easily have played one more year with success, another top man, great to see such a high quality replacement in such a short time. I wonder if he's still registered as a player, could do with him in "emergency" situations!

  • ESPN on January 7, 2014, 16:37 GMT

    Good luck Pop you deserve it , nice to see the Bears getting another former player on board

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