October 18, 2000

Houghton emerges as favourite for Worcestershire job

Staff and Agencies

David Houghton
Houghton: back to New Road?
Photo © Zimbabwe Cricket Union

David Houghton has emerged as the favourite to take over as Worcestershire coach from Bill Athey, who resigned yesterday.

Houghton had a four year spell at New Road, ending in 1997, when he left to coach Zimbabwe. Under his guidance Worcestershire won the NatWest Trophy in 1994.

"I would love to go back to Worcestershire," admitted Houghton. "I had four great years there and would love to have the chance for a second spell."

"I only left in the first place because I basically had no choice. Worcestershire said `club or country' and Zimbabwe the same and you are not going to turn down the chance to coach your country."

"I had four great years and now in the English winter months I coach at the Zimbabwe Cricket Academy."

"But I always said I would love one day to go back into county cricket and most preferably with Worcestershire. I'm not really the sort of guy who can just move from one county to another."

"Worcestershire are the team who mean the most to me and I hope they decide to get in touch and offer me the chance."

Martin Horton, the chairman of the cricket committee at Worcestershire, and a former Worcestershire player, said: "David is definitely somebody we would be interested in for the coaching post."

"Of course, we would have to run it past the captain (Graeme Hick) and other committee members, to see what comes up, and to see what other names are in the hat."

"I think we will circulate the other counties and advertise the post but David has the past form and the kind of calibre we are looking for."

Another factor in Houghton's favour is his friendship with Hick. They are both Zimbabweans, and played together for their country in the early 1980's.