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Thorpe named new lead batting coach

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Graham Thorpe

Graham Thorpe, who won his 100th Test cap in 2005 at Durham, will take over from Dene Hills as national lead batting coach

The ECB today announced the appointment of Graham Thorpe as national lead batting coach.

The former England and Surrey batsman will take over the position from Dene Hills, who leaves the post later this year after two years in the role.

Thorpe, 41, scored 6,744 runs at 44.66 in 100 Tests for England and spent 18 years as a first-class cricketer with Surrey before moving to Sydney in 2005-06 to work with New South Wales as a batting coach. He became their assistant coach in 2007-08.

In 2009 Thorpe returned to Surrey to take up the position of batting coach at the Brit Insurance Oval.

Thorpe, whose international career began in 1993 and included tours to all the current Test playing nations, will take up the post next month and his first task will be to work with the England Performance Programme squad on their forthcoming five-week training camp in Australia.

Based at the National Cricket Performance Centre at Loughborough, he will be responsible for coaching players selected for England Lions and England Performance Programme squads as well as overseeing the progress of batsmen within the England development programme.

David Parsons, ECB performance director, said: “We are delighted to appoint Graham Thorpe as lead batting coach.

“Graham has a wealth of experience both as a player and a coach and he will play a vital role working with some of the very best young batsmen in the game and ensuring they are able to excel when they make the step up to the full international side.

“He was very impressive when he worked with England Lions in the UAE earlier this year and both the players and management team held him in extremely high regard. We are very pleased to be welcoming him on a full-time basis.”

Dene Hills & Alastair Cook

Dene Hills, left, with Alastair Cook, is to take up a position with Cricket Australia after two years as lead batting coach

Hills is to return to Australia to take up a position with Cricket Australia.

He was appointed lead batting coach in 2008 and has worked closely with players on the England Performance Programme over the last two years.

Parsons continued: “I would like to thank Dene Hills for his contribution over the last two years.

“We are very grateful for his hard work with the England Performance Programme and wish him well for the future.

“We are sorry to see Dene leave the position but are delighted that Graham will join us in what is a key role within England cricket.”

Thorpe said: “I am very grateful to Surrey for giving me the chance to develop my coaching career and wish Chris Adams and all the players the best of luck next season.

“It will be hard to leave Surrey but this is a fantastic opportunity for me to help prepare the next generation of England batsmen by working with EPP, England Lions and England age-group squads and I am really looking forward to the challenge.”

Hills said: “I have thoroughly enjoyed my role with the ECB and am genuinely sorry that my time with them has come to an end.

“I would like to thank David Parsons and the team at the National Cricket Performance Centre for making my time here so rewarding.

“I am looking forward to returning to Australia and having the opportunity to continue my coaching career.”