ECB and Sky reward grassroots cricket coaches

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Sky Sports and the ECB have recognised three cricket coaches at the Sky Sports ECB Coach of the Year Awards for their outstanding services to grassroots cricket.

The ceremony took place at Warwickshire University on Saturday and was hosted by Sky Sports cricket presenter Charles Colville and 2011 ECB Cricketer of the Year Jonathan Trott. The awards were part of the Sky Sports ECB Coach Education programme, celebrating the outstanding services to grassroots cricket from many of the country's leading coaches.

Nominees for the awards were selected by their county development managers and consisted of all levels of coaching abilities and age ranges - from local club junior coaches to district coaches and head county coaches.

Mike Smith, Jonathan Trott, Andrew Wagner & Chris Rodgers

England batsman Jonathan Trott, second left, with award winners, from left to right, Mike Smith, Andrew Wagner and Chris Rodgers

Twenty-five-year-old Chris Rogers from Whitchurch Cricket Club scooped the Young Coach of the Year Award. He was recognised for initiating a new coaching programme in Shropshire.

Andrew Wagner claimed the coveted Coach of the Year Award. He has been a head coach at Radley College for 30 years and is best known for supporting the development of former England captain Andrew Strauss.

The Outstanding Contribution to Cricket Award deservedly went to 80-year-old Mike Smith, who coaches at Blagdon CC. He has been coaching grassroots cricket for more than 45 years and has played pivotal role in the Northumberland Coaches Association.

Trott said: "Every coach here today is a true ambassador for cricket in England and Wales and it was great to meet them all and hear about the difference that they have made in their respective counties. Tonight proves that we have a great foundation of coaches to help build the next generation of players. If these coaches continue to work in the game, our youngsters are in a great position."

Rodgers said: "It was great to have been nominated for the award, let alone to win it. To be recognised and rewarded by Sky Sports and the ECB for doing something that I love is incredible. Tonight has been a dream come true and I have had a fantastic night chatting to Charles Colville and Jonathan Trott about the work I have been doing with the Shropshire Cricket Board. I can't wait to continue my coaching journey this year."