Robert Croft sacked as coach to end 30-year association with Glamorgan
Welsh legend pays price for county's flat-lining performances on all fronts
Hugh Morris has described as "incredibly difficult" the decision to end Robert Croft's 30-year career with Glamorgan.
Morris, the club's chief executive, acknowledged Croft's "incredible contribution" to Glamorgan but conceded that, after a grim year, this was "the right time for a change".
Croft had been head coach at Glamorgan for the last three years. Despite seeing the side reach Finals Day in 2017 - the first time they had done so in 13 years - Croft was unable to improve their first-class form. They finished bottom of Division Two in the County Championship in 2018, won only one List A match, and failed to progress to the last eight in the T20 Blast. The departure of 21-year-old Aneurin Donald, one of the club's brightest prospects, to Hampshire underlined the impression that, too often in the last few years, the club had relied too heavily on imports.
Before his spell as head coach, Croft had enjoyed a long career with the club - he made his debut in 1989 and captained the side between 2003 and 2006 - and had a period as assistant coach. His departure leaves the club looking for both a new head coach and director of cricket following last week's announcement which revealed Morris, who has had a dual role as chief executive and director of cricket since 2013, would be concentrating on the former position. It is likely the new director of cricket will be involved in the appointment of the next head coach.
"On behalf of the club I would like to thank Robert for the incredible contribution he has made to Glamorgan, not just as head coach but also as a player, assistant coach and ambassador over the last 30 years," Morris said.
"He is one of our greatest players and the most successful player we have ever had at the club at international level and has done more than anyone to promote not just cricket in Wales, but Welsh cricket to the world.
"During his tenure, he has developed a number of young players which Glamorgan will hopefully see the benefit of for years to come. He also oversaw the club reaching the quarter-finals of the Vitality Blast in two of his three years in charge, which culminated in our return to Finals Day last year.
"It was an incredibly difficult decision for the board to make, but given our performances in the County Championship we feel it is the right time for a change. Robert is always welcome back at the club and we hope he will continue to act as an ambassador for Glamorgan and Welsh cricket."
"After finishing my playing career it was one of my dreams to coach at this great club and I am pleased to have been able to fulfil that dream and play a part in developing the next generation of Welsh cricketers," Croft said. "I leave knowing that Glamorgan has a number of extremely talented cricketers who can take the club forward.
"Although our County Championship campaigns did not go as I would have liked, we were able to compete admirably in the shorter formats of the game with a small and young squad of players.
"Glamorgan will always hold a big piece of my heart and I would like to wish the club and supporters well for the future."
Since they were relegated at the end of the 2005 season, Glamorgan have only finished in the top half of Division Two twice. In that period, they have failed to produce an England player. At one stage in 2018, they lost seven Championship games in succession.
George Dobell is a senior correspondent at ESPNcricinfo