Gloucestershire have appointed Dale Benkenstein, the former South Africa batter and batting coach, as head coach on a three-year contract.
Benkenstein, 47, is also a former Durham captain who was head coach at Hampshire from 2014-16, helping them to reach two Vitality Blast Finals Days and secure promotion back to the top tier of the Championship in that time. He worked as Proteas batting coach from 2017-19 and has also coached South African side Dolphins.
He joined Lancashire on a short-term contract as batting coach earlier this year and, most recently, Benkenstein was head coach at Mike Procter's former school, Hilton College. He will lead Gloucestershire at least until the end of the 2024 season under a deal announced on Tuesday.
"I am looking forward to working with a well-balanced squad of youth and experience and I feel the club as a whole have the ingredients to be consistently successful in all formats," Benkenstein said. "It is exciting to be back involved in English county cricket where I have many fond memories."
Benkenstein made 300 List A and 264 first-class appearances during his 20-year career, scoring 15,962 first-class runs and more than 9,000 limited-overs runs.
Born in Zimbabwe, he began his career at Natal, in South Africa, and after being named captain at the age of 22, took the side to four-day and one-day domestic titles. That led to Benkenstein making his ODI debut for South Africa against England in 1998 and he went on to play a total of 23 ODIs.
He joined Durham in 2005 and captained them to their first major trophy in 2007, defeating Hampshire in the final of the Friends Provident competition. He then led Durham to back-to-back Championship titles in 2008 and 2009, the first in the club's history.
At Gloucestershire, Benkenstein will work alongside new performance director Steve Snell and assistant head coach Ian Harvey, who stepped in as interim head coach last March when Richard Dawson joined the ECB as elite performance pathway coach. Under Harvey, Gloucestershire won five of their group games and three divisional games, the most match wins for any side in this year's Championship.
Harvey said: "It's been a huge honour for me to lead the team this season and I'm really proud of what the squads have achieved. Some of the performances in the County Championship in particular have been top class and there is no doubt these players have a bright future ahead.
"I've been following the recruitment process with interest and there is no doubt that Dale is a great signing and I'm very excited to be working with him; I knew him as a fierce competitor on the pitch and I'm sure his style and considerable experience will produce great results for our club."