County news December 14, 2011

Ben Smith takes Leicestershire role

ESPNcricinfo staff

Ben Smith, the former Worcestershire and Leicestershire batsman, has returned to where his career began after taking the role of batting coach at Grace Road where he started as a player in 1990.

Smith, 39, won two Championship titles with Leicestershire in 1996 and 1998 and scored 8,606 first-class runs before his departure to Worcestershire. He succeeded Graeme Hick as captain at New Road in 2003 and scored a further 8,530 first-class runs before retiring in 2010.

"I am delighted to take this opportunity and to be involved with the ongoing development of a very talented group of players," said Smith. "I have very fond memories of playing cricket at Grace Road so to be able to give something back to the club is very exciting.

"I would like to thank Worcestershire for their support over the last ten years, firstly as a player and then guiding me into a coaching career," he added. "Worcestershire is a very special club and I am certain it always will be. I am incredibly proud to have represented the club and being part of its history."

The job of Leicestershire batting coach was originally on offer to Paul Nixon but he turned down the role to try and secure a job at the IPL.

The Leicestershire head coach Phil Whitticase said: "I'm really pleased to have Ben on board. He brings enthusiasm, innovation and experience to the coaching team and I look forward to working with him."