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Mo Bobat, England Men's performance director, has been confirmed as the new director of cricket at Royal Challengers Bangalore in the IPL, and will leave the ECB in February next year.
Bobat, 40, has overseen the England Men's pathway for the past four years, identifying and developing the players that have helped the team win World Cups in the 50-over and 20-over formats, while reinvigorating their Test fortunes under the captain-coach partnership of Ben Stokes and Brendon McCullum.
He has been working at the ECB since 2011, initially managing the England Men's Under-19s programme, before being appointed the ECB's first Player Identification Lead in 2016.
Bobat has previously worked with RCB on a consultancy basis, and has a long-standing relationship with Andy Flower, RCB's new head coach, from their years working together at the ECB. Now the pair will be resuming that partnership at the IPL, ahead of the 2024 staging.
"I've had the most amazing 12 years at the ECB and it's been both an honour and a privilege to have spent the last four years as Performance Director," Bobat said. "Supporting our efforts towards multiple Ashes campaigns and World Cups has quite literally been the stuff of dreams.
"I'll be forever grateful for all of the opportunities and support that I received over the years and will carry with me many special memories, shared achievements and friendships.
"I'd like to thank all of my current and former colleagues, and of course all of the players that I've been able to enjoy time with. I'd specifically like to thank Rob Key for showing me so much trust over the last 18 months and for enabling my preferred transition towards my new professional challenge.
"When the time comes, I'll leave with the heaviest of hearts and will take pride in knowing that our international pathway is in great health and filled with outstanding people."
Key, England Men's managing director, described the news as "bittersweet", and acknowledged that he would miss working with a key ally in the ECB's back-room team.
"This is a bittersweet moment for me personally because while I am delighted that Mo has been given an unbelievable opportunity, it marks the end of probably the most enjoyable partnership of any career I have had.
"When I first arrived at the ECB 18 months ago, Mo was the guiding hand that allowed me to get my feet under the table and to get on with my role. I have absolutely no doubt I would have drowned without his support and expertise.
"His 12 years at the ECB should be an inspiration for many and shows what can be achieved if you never give up and keep believing in yourself.
"All anyone ever wants is to have an impact in whatever they do, and Mo can look back and see that he's not only impacted English cricket but impacted England cricketers. I wish him all the best."
Bobat's appointment completes a fully overseas back-room staff at RCB, alongside Flower, Adam Griffith (bowling), Freddie Wilde (analyst), and Evan Speechly (physio).
Prathmesh Mishra, RCB's chairman, said that he looked forward to seeing how Bobat's England influence would translate to RCB's playing style. RCB finished sixth in IPL 2023 and made the playoffs in three seasons before that (2020 to 2022) but are still chasing their maiden IPL title.
"RCB has always focussed on a performance-oriented approach and creating a culture that reflects its 'playbold' philosophy," he said. "Bobat has already proved what he can do in a similar role with England, and I believe, with the expertise and years of experience, he will guide RCB to newer horizons and excellence."
Meanwhile, Luke Williams replaced Ben Sawyer as RCB Women's head coach for WPL 2024, as reported by ESPNcricinfo earlier. Williams oversaw Adelaide Strikers' win in the Women's Big Bash League as head coach last year and was assistant to Charlotte Edwards in Southern Brave's win in the women's Hundred.
"I am thrilled to have been provided this opportunity with RCB and can't wait to get started with the team's preparations for the second season of the WPL," Williams said in a statement released by RCB on Saturday. "I look forward to working with a playing group that will host a number of the most exciting players in Indian and world cricket as we look to bring a bold and exciting style of play and success to our huge and passionate fan base."
RCB captain Smriti Mandhana was part of Brave's title-winning run. Williams had also coached Strikers to runners-up finish in the WBBL in 2019 and 2021. He is also in-charge of South Australia Scorpions in the Women's National Cricket League, the domestic 50-over competition in Australia.