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Anthony McGrath named Essex head coach

Anthony McGrath takes charge of a catching drill before play Getty Images

Essex have promoted Anthony McGrath to the position of head coach after Chris Silverwood, who led the club to their first Championship title in 25 years, stepped down to take up the role of bowling coach with England.

McGrath was part of the set-up under Silverwood and is widely respected at Essex, who became the first team in 12 years to win Division One immediately after being promoted. McGrath joined as assistant in 2016, after the departure of Paul Grayson, and focused on working with Essex's batsmen.

He was favourite to succeed Silverwood, who caught the attention of England after two impressive seasons in charge at Chelmsford. A new assistant for McGrath, who will have responsibility for overseeing the bowlers, will be appointed in due course.

"I am absolutely delighted to be given this opportunity, and really excited to get started," McGrath said. "I have thoroughly enjoyed my two years at the club so far and I am honoured to take over the head coach role at such a great county.

"The club have put faith in me to take over the excellent job Chris did and really continue the success we have had over the last couple of years. I am thrilled, obviously we will miss Chris, but it is now time to move forward and I can't wait to get back with the squad."

"I don't think much needs to change from the formula Chris and myself introduced a couple of years ago. Obviously I will put my own stamp on things, but we have a competitive squad of homegrown players who are all passionate about the club.

"We know we need to keep improving, as people will target us now we are champions, but that is normal. Every single one of us needs to keep raising the bar as we can't stand still and I will be working hard to make sure we all do that. If we improve ourselves every day over the winter and bring it into the season, we won't be far away from success in all competitions."

A former Yorkshire allrounder, McGrath was capped in four Tests and 14 ODIs by England. He retired in 2013 and was took on the role of coaching consultant with Yorkshire before moving south to link up with Silverwood at Essex. Their first season in charge saw Essex promoted as Division Two champions.

Derek Bowden, Essex's chief executive, said: "Having had discussions with Anthony following Chris' departure, it was clear he had the knowledge and passion to lead this club forward. He was an integral part of the success over the past two years and brings a continuity that we were keen to implement.

"The players know how he works, we know how he works and ultimately he was the outstanding candidate to take the club forward. Now it is important he brings in the right assistant head bowling coach alongside him, and we will be working hard to fill this position in the coming weeks."