Steven David Snell
February 27, 1983, Winchester, Hampshire
Right hand bat
Sandown High School
A keeper batsman who was unfortunate enough to find himself competing for a place with Jos Buttler and Craig Kieswetter, Steve Snell enjoyed some memorable days as a player, but it was as a coach he was to make a greater contribution to the game.
Having developed through the Hampshire system, Snell made his debut for Gloucestershire in 2005 - he might have made a century on debut against Bangladesh but ran out of partners on 83 - but struggled for opportunities. While he enjoyed a good 2008 season - he made his only first-class century in a Championship match against Worcestershire and contributed eight half-centuries in the same competition - he was unable to maintain such form and was released at the end of 2010 with a year to run on his contract.
Even before he left Gloucestershire, however, Snell had completed his Level Four coaching qualification - he was one of the youngest to do so at the time - and started to coach the club's academy players. He also had a stint as head coach for The Hong Kong CC over the winter of 2006-7. Following his release from Gloucestershire, he spent a winter in Melbourne, where he was assistant coach of Camberwell Magpies, before taking a role as first team coach at Millfield School during the summer of 2011 and joining the BBC's county commentary team.
He continued to play, though. And, after a decent 2011 season with Herefordshire, won a late season call-up to help a Somerset side missing Kieswetter and Buttler due to England duty. That led to him being included in the club's squad to play the Champions League tournament in India where Somerset pulled off a couple of notable victories - including one against KKR - on the way to a creditable semi-final place.
But while he spent the next year or so pushing for further opportunities, they were few and far between. Instead, he moved further into coaching including stints with the England Physical Disability side and ICC Europe alongside broadcasting and writing opportunities.
Finally, after a stint as the part-time wicketkeeping coach at Gloucestershire (working with James Bracey, among others), Snell was appointed as the Somerset Academy Director and second team coach at the end of 2014. In that role, he has overseen the development of Dom Bess, Tom Banton, Tom Lammonby and many more as the county has continually delivered far more than the average number of players to the professional ranks. Indeed, between 2016 and 2019 inclusive, more than two-thirds of Somerset's academy graduates won pro contracts (the national average was 39 per-cent) with nine playing for England U19s. As a result, Snell was included as a consultant coach of the England Young Lions programme for a tour of India and for summer tri-series events against India and Bangladesh U19s.
ESPNcricinfo staff April 2021
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