County news December 17, 2014

Whitticase leaves Leicestershire

Phil Whitticase is to leave Leicestershire after 31 years at the club as player and then coach.

Whitticase has effectively been head coach since 2010 but, with the club unable to compete with the salary offers of other clubs, has been unable to stem the flow of players from the ground or reverse a grim decline in results. Leicestershire have not won a Championship match since 2012 and their limited-overs form has been little better.

The news is no surprise. The club have already appointed a new head coach, the Australian Andrew McDonald and it had become apparent that no vacancy remained for Whitticase. His official role, director of cricket, was made redundant in October.

Whitticase made his Leicestershire first team debut as a wicketkeeper in 1984 and played for 12 years. Upon retiring as a player, he qualified as a Level Four coach and remained with the club in a variety of roles. He first took charge of the first team in 2002, when he succeeded Jack Birkenshaw, before he was named as head coach and academy director under James Whitaker at the end of 2003 and then under Tim Boon from 2006.

He enjoyed notable success as a coach. Not only was he the academy coach responsible, in part, for the development of Stuart Broad, James Taylor and Harry Gurney, but he was head coach the last time the club won a trophy, the domestic T20 tournament in 2011. He was also part of the coaching team when Leicestershire won the tournament in 2004 and 2006.

Whitticase also worked with the likes of Josh Cobb, Shiv Thakor, Greg Smith and Nathan Buck but, with all four joining the exodus from Grace Road, the club have decided it is time for a change. Whether the new management team will fare any better without a substantial injection of resources remains to be seen.

"We would like to thank Phil for his fantastic service to Leicestershire over the last 31 years," the club's chairman, Paul Haywood, said. Phil has been a loyal servant of the Club and worked tirelessly for us over the years at Grace Road. We wish him every success in the future."

George Dobell is a senior correspondent at ESPNcricinfo

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