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Saker named as England bowling coach

Cricinfo staff

April 8, 2010

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The Victoria fast bowler, David Saker
David Saker is England's new bowling coach © Getty Images
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Players/Officials: Ottis Gibson | David Saker

The former Victoria fast bowler, David Saker, has been named as England's new bowling coach, after a lengthy search for a replacement for Ottis Gibson, who took charge of West Indies in February this year. Saker joins the ECB following a six-year tenure as assistant coach of Victoria, the state he represented at first-class level on 49 occasions.

In his role as Victoria assistant coach, Saker helped to guide the team to the past two Sheffield Shield titles, as well as four domestic Twenty20 tiles in the past five years. He served as head coach of the Delhi Daredevils during last year's Champions League, following an assistant coach's role with the franchise throughout the initial two seasons of the IPL.

Saker, 43, debuted for Victoria in 1994 before going on to play 23 first-class matches for Tasmania from 2000-2004. He returned to Victoria in the role of assistant coach and co-ordinator of Cricket Victoria's high performance unit, working closely with the likes of Australian internationals Peter Siddle, Dirk Nannes, Clint McKay and Andrew McDonald.

It is expected that Saker will link up with the England team in time for the forthcoming ICC World Twenty20 in the Caribbean at the end of the month. "I've long held ambitions of coaching at international level so the prospect of working with the England team is something I'm very much looking forward to and excited by," he said. "I've really enjoyed my time as assistant coach with the Bushrangers and I'm now aiming to take my coaching to the next level with the England team.

Saker's duties will include guiding the fortunes of the established frontline bowlers, Stuart Broad and James Anderson, as well as working on the development of young prospects such as Steven Finn, Ajmal Shahzad and Chris Woakes.

"I believe I can offer the England bowlers a great deal and oversee their development at the highest level," he said. "This role will be challenging but there's no question I'm looking forward to working with the impressive crop of bowlers currently in and around the England team."

England's head coach, Andy Flower, said: "David has a wealth of playing and coaching experience and will be a valuable addition to the England set-up. His record with Victoria in recent times is second to none and he has managed the development of a number of top-class fast bowlers.

"We were sorry to see Ottis Gibson leave the position but we believe we've found an excellent successor and look forward to David joining us in the lead up to what will be an exciting and challenging year ahead."

Saker was selected from a shortlist of five candidates - including Allan Donald, who worked with the England team briefly in 2007; the former Australian fast bowler, Craig McDermott; Dougie Brown, the Warwickshire assistant coach, and Stuart Barnes, a bowling coach at Gloucestershire and the ECB academy. His appointment means that Bruce French, who works with England's wicketkeepers, is the only regular member of the coaching staff with an English background.

Hugh Morris, the managing director of England cricket, said: "We're pleased to appoint David Saker as England fast bowling coach after an exhaustive recruitment process that included a number of world-class candidates. David's credentials are exceptional and we believe we've secured an outstanding bowling coach who'll take up a vital full-time role within the England team management."

© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.

Posted by landl47 on (April 14, 2010, 2:57 GMT)

I hope he will be able to teach the English bowlers to focus on their strengths, rather than try to do too much. Glenn McGrath was a great example of a bowler who knew exactly what he wanted to do, did it superbly and left the flashier and faster guys in the dust. England have several prospects (Broad, Finn, Woakes) who could do the same thing with the right guidance from the coach, manager and captain. I'm not sure everything will be in place by this Winter, but in a couple of years England should have their strongest bowling attack for decades and as everyone knows, bowling wins matches.

Posted by GOSMGR2 on (April 13, 2010, 7:22 GMT)

Ah a break from the recent norm-England recruit somebody with a track record!.Oh and jazzmaster,I'm pretty certain you mean stuart broad,but hey maybe his dad needs pacifiers as well!

Posted by   on (April 9, 2010, 15:19 GMT)

David has made victorian bowling, a very good bloke, just because you dont know him doesnt mean he's a no name it probably means u know nothing he's shipperd right hand man and since his appointment to the bushies and the dehli daredevils and the and he was selected above allan donald and craig mcdermott if thats any indication, id like u also to notice that he's taught mckay and co how to swing it

Posted by MiddlePeg on (April 9, 2010, 9:58 GMT)

Once again England help a bowling coach cut his teeth at international level....before he then returns to his native country to ply his trade for the national board. Hmmmmm...

Posted by Waikato_FC on (April 9, 2010, 9:17 GMT)

Andy Flower aside, sometimes the best coaches were at best journeymen cricketers - same applies to football coaches. Saker has probably had to work his way through the ranks using his coaching skills and talents rather than the 'famous ex player' route. Good luck to him, Gibbo will be a hard man to replace. But don't forget that Gibbo wasn't exactly a global superstar himself (unless you're from Derbyshire)

Posted by tombaan on (April 9, 2010, 3:10 GMT)

Saker...who? Is he related to Noel David

Posted by steelo_esq on (April 9, 2010, 1:49 GMT)

A step forward for england.... recruiting from somewhere besides south africa for once. Saker would do a good job though he bowled pretty well in the australian domestic series.

Posted by jazzmaster on (April 9, 2010, 0:18 GMT)

What a cunning plan by the ACB. Hope he does the right thing by his country and coaches the English bowlers to bowl to the Aussies' strengths in the World Cup, Ashes etc. The first thing he'll need is a supply of pacifiers for Chris Broad to suck on, and occasionally spit out. :)

Posted by Essex-eagle on (April 9, 2010, 0:02 GMT)

Where have all the E nglish men gone ?

Posted by   on (April 8, 2010, 23:57 GMT)

u r right Dan. who is he?

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