County news February 5, 2016

Croft wins Glamorgan coaching job

ESPNcricinfo staff

Robert Croft (right) has acted as assistant to the former coach Toby Radford © Getty Images

Glamorgan have appointed Robert Croft, one of the most iconic figures in cricket in Wales, as their new head coach.

Croft, 45, has signed a rolling contract after emerging as the preferred candidate following a recruitment process led by Hugh Morris, Glamorgan's chief executive and director of cricket.

Glamorgan's interest, at least as an inital shortlist, also stretched to such potential candidates as Ottis Gibson, the England bowling coach, but they have entrusted their coaching future closer to home to one of the proudest, and occasionally abrasive, figures in Welsh cricket history.

"Robert was the outstanding candidate in the recruitment process and his record of achievement as a Glamorgan player and an international cricketer further enhanced the impression that he made when he laid out his coaching vision," Morris said.

"His long association with the club, his knowledge of the squad and his vision for the future were the most significant elements of his interview and we are very pleased that he has accepted this opportunity.

"There was significant interest in the role from a broad spectrum of coaching talent and while rival candidates had their merits, we concluded that Robert was the best man for the job."

Croft, who is currently with the England team in South Africa in his capacity as a consultant spin bowling coach, will return to Cardiff next week to oversee pre-season preparations having spent the past three seasons as an assistant coach.

He worked alongside Toby Radford, whose involvement with the county ended at the end of last season.

Croft made his Glamorgan debut in 1989 and went on to take 1,117 first-class wickets in a career punctuated by Championship success in 1997 - one of three in the county's history - a Sunday League crown and 71 appearances for England in Tests and One-Day Internationals.

"Glamorgan has been my home club for 28 years as a player and a coach and it was a very special moment when I was offered the chance to lead this group of players," Croft said.

"I'm under no illusions as to the scale of the challenge that we will face but I have taken it on knowing that there is a collective desire to drive things forwards.

"The hard work starts now and I¹ll be looking to meet with the players and the back room team to firm up our plans as soon as I return to the UK."

Efforts have been made in recent weeks to strengthen a thin first-team squad with Harry Podmore taken on loan from Middlesex to bolster pace bowling ranks during college absences and Timm van der Gugten, the Netherlands' Australian-born seamer, also signed on a three-year contract.

Glamorgan now dances to the tune of its successul 1990s side, with Morris doubling up as chief executive and director of cricket, Croft now in the lead coach role and Steve Watkin, the former indefatigable seamer, retained as assistant coach.

A decision has been postponed as to whether an additional assistant is required to fill Croft's previous position.

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