Michael Yardy, the former Sussex captain and England allrounder, has been named New South Wales batting coach, replacing Beau Casson who has decided to return to Western Australia for family reasons.
Yardy, 38, has been Sussex batting coach since early 2017 and has been combining that with his role as the 2nd XI coach since the 2018 English season, while also working with the England Young Lions. He will link up with New South Wales next month in preparation for the Australian domestic season which starts in October.
"I would like to thank the club for giving me the opportunity to coach at Sussex, a place which will always be very special to me and my family and which is deeply ingrained within me," Yardy said. "I'm immensely proud to have played a part in the emergence of a number of young batsmen, from players being called up to England to seeing talented young lads start their journey with debuts and achieving landmarks across all formats.
"Alongside my role at Sussex, I have immensely enjoyed my work with England Young Lions as batting coach. I leave both roles knowing the players I've worked with are in a good place to continue to progress. Now I am excited about and looking forward to the opportunity to work at New South Wales, which is an outstanding organisation. It was an opportunity I couldn't afford to let pass by."
Yardy scored more than 10,000 first-class in a 15-year Sussex career alongside captaining the club from 2009 to 2012. He played 28 ODIs and 14 T20Is for England, and was part of the team which won the 2010 World T20 in the Caribbean, before his international career was ended due to clinical depression which curtailed his 2011 World Cup. He has since done much work to raise awareness of mental health.
Casson was appointed batting coach last August amid a backroom restructuring at NSW. He played an important part in the breakthrough season for Kurtis Patterson, who forced his way into Australia's Test team, scoring a century in his second match against Sri Lanka, and is now pushing for an Ashes berth. Casson has also worked with the state at a time when they have a number of emerging young batsmen including Jason Sangha and Jack Edwards.
Cricket NSW general manager of cricket performance, David Moore, said: "We've got seven or eight really good players under the age of 21 at the moment that we think are going to be good players and we think Mike is going to be able to add his experience, not just technically and tactically, but really how he thinks about the game, how he devises his innings.
"He's coached at Premier League level in the UK, he's coached Academy level, he's coached at 2nd XI level and he's also been involved with the Sussex first XI, so we're very lucky that we've got someone of such experience and development. We're obviously looking for Mike to come in and fit into the team beautifully, which we're sure he will and…to assist in the development of players that are going to play for Australia and help us win Shield titles."
Sussex director of cricket Keith Greenfield said: "Yards has been a hugely important and committed part of Sussex's journey for the best part of three decades in his roles as player, captain and latterly as coach.
"We wish him well with his new opportunity in Australia as he strives to become the best coach possible and, one day, a head coach. We're delighted at Sussex to have helped him on his way to those goals."