County news February 22, 2016

Di Venuto joins Surrey as head coach

ESPNcricinfo staff

Surrey have announced Michael Di Venuto as their new head coach on a three-year deal to replace Graham Ford who has recently returned to work with Sri Lanka.

Di Venuto, who played nine ODIs, is currently Australia's assistant and batting coach and recently took charge of the team when Darren Lehmann suffered DVT. His final Australia assignment will be the T20 tour of South Africa next month and he will join Surrey in early April ahead of the start of their Championship campaign against Nottinghamshire on April 10.

Greg Blewett, who is currently Australia's fielding coach, will take on the batting responsibilities with the national side.

Di Venuto has extensive experience of the county game having played for Sussex, Derbyshire and latterly Durham with whom he won back-to-back County Championship titles in 2008 and 2009.

"It has been a huge honour and privilege to have worked with the Australian team but the chance to come to a club of the size and potential of Surrey as head coach was too big an opportunity for me to turn down," Di Venuto said.

"As someone who has always enjoyed the county game, I have followed Surrey's progress over the last couple of years and look forward to working with this talented squad of players."

Alec Stewart, the Surrey director of cricket, said: "Following the departure of Graham Ford it was vitally important that we found another high quality coach with a great work ethic and excellent knowledge of the English county game.

"Michael is a good people person and his twelve years of county experience will be invaluable. He is highly regarded within the Australian setup for his ability to work with and get the best out of players both individually and collectively.

"Being able to appoint a coach from a top quality International team can only serve to benefit the club and I would like to thank Cricket Australia for their professional dealings and understanding in enabling us to make this appointment in time for the start of the new season."

Pat Howard, Australia's general manager, thanked Di Venuto for his work alongside Darren Lehmann over the last three years.

"Michael has played a very important role supporting the Australian team over the last three years, including this past home summer when he stood in for Darren Lehmann as head coach," Howard said.

"He has brought a tremendous work ethic and commitment to the role and we have no doubt that this head coaching opportunity with Surrey will provide him with fantastic experience leading his own team, continuing his rapid development as an elite coach."

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Ray on February 24, 2016, 9:22 GMT

    @Customkid: Thanks for the background info. Diva's inherits a squad with a lot of potential, so it sounds like it could be an excellent match-up.

  • Benjamin on February 24, 2016, 1:32 GMT

    @Warren Smith, Geez mate ease up. You don't just go from middle management to CEO just because. He's had a taste of the top level, and I'm sure realises now what it takes to hold the top job as head coach of an international outfit. Before he get's there though, be it for AUS, ENG, SRI or whoever may provide the opportunity down the track, he needs to get runs on the board, earn his stripes as a senior coach that get's results. Simply being a batting, bowling, or fielding coach doesn't entitle ones self to step in to the top job. He's making a smart decision to further his credentials and as a senior international coach in the future. Are you really that narrow minded?

  • Izmi on February 23, 2016, 21:08 GMT

    The Australian Cricket Board needs to blood in someone young for the position of assistant coach cum batting coach and I suggest Michael Hussey would be the ideal candidate as he has a thorough knowledge of the modern game and has excelled in all three formats. His sound batting technique, knowledge and experience was recently used by South Africa Cricket in the 2015 cricket world cup. He is still involved in the game as recently and led Sydney Thunder to victory in the T20 BBL.

  • Ray on February 23, 2016, 11:01 GMT

    Sorry that Ford left, but looks like a solid replacement. Wonder if Thorpe was considered? Did the ECB suggest Surrey look elsewhere? A Stewart/ Thorpe partnership would have been great for Surrey fans. Anyway, best of luck to Di Venuto

  • James on February 23, 2016, 8:59 GMT

    He's played a key role in developing Warner and SMith. He will be missed.

  • Mustansir on February 23, 2016, 6:28 GMT

    Michael Hussey shall be made australian batting coach

  • Izmi on February 22, 2016, 21:04 GMT

    Yet another aussie to help England lift their standards in world cricket after the exit of former Victoria and England bowling coach David Saker and the recent signing of former New South Wales and Australian assistant coach Trevor Bayliss who has completely transformed the England cricket team from scratch even helping them defeat his own countrymen in the last ashes. The signing of Michael Di Venuto the former Tasmanian and Australian opening batsman as coach of Surrey reinforces the fact that England always has to turn to the old enemy for help to lift their standards in cricket. Also Jason Gillespie the former South Australian and aussie paceman is the current coach of Yorkshire County cricket Club. Despite the arch rivalry and empty boast England still relies heavily on the aussies to lift their game in international cricket.

  • Terry on February 22, 2016, 15:08 GMT

    It comes down to a lot of things. Being the head coach & taking charge is very different than being just a batting coach even if that is for a national team. Being a domestic coach & not having all the international travel can also be appealing. And he may see it as a stepping stone to an Aust domestic job or a head job at international level. Plus I suspect Surrey may pay more.

  • Prashant on February 22, 2016, 13:59 GMT

    Nonsense...Any job with a top test playing nation is much better than working for a club side. World is a really strange place!!!!!