Essex have appointed Chris Silverwood, the former England paceman, as bowling coach following the recent departure of Graeme Welch.

Silverwood is currently in Zimbabwe with the Mashonaland Eagles where he is player-coach and applied for the vacant role of England bowling coach but he will now join Essex. Paul Grayson, the Essex coach, is thrilled to have such strong candidate.

"Chris will be joining us as bowling coach from March 1 when the players report back for full pre-season training," he said. "He will also travel with us to Barbados where he will be able to work really close with the bowlers as we prepare for the start of the season."

"We were obviously keen to replace Graeme [Welch] as quickly as possible. Chris is a highly respected person having played plenty of first-class cricket and of course he has represented England. He is desperately keen to make an impact and is the perfect bowling coach for the club as he ticks all of the boxes".

Silverwood played six Tests for England between 1996 and 2002 and took 577 first-class wickets at 27.41 over a career stretching back to 1993.