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Welch handed Derbyshire reins

Derbyshire have appointed Graeme Welch as their elite cricket performance director on a three-year deal.

The 41-year-old moves to the County Ground after serving as bowling and assistant coach at Warwickshire.

He also spent six years as a player at Derbyshire, taking over as captain when Luke Sutton left for Lancashire in 2006.

Welch, who began his coaching career by overseeing Essex’s bowlers in 2008, and has been credited for his fine work with the likes of Chris Wright and Keith Barker.

“My experiences with Essex and Warwickshire have been a fantastic grounding, allowing me to learn my trade as a coach,” he said.

Graeme Welch, who played for Derbyshire towards the end of his playing career, has been appointed as the county's supremo

“I’m thankful for those opportunities which have fuelled my ambition to work at the top of the coaching tree.

“The opportunity to do that back at Derbyshire, where I had my best years as a player, is perfect for me.

“The new elite cricket performance structure shows the club’s ambition and I completely buy into their vision and share the desire for success.”

Chairman Chris Grant added: “It’s great news for Derbyshire that we’ve been able to attract one of the best up-and-coming coaches around as we strive towards our ambition for sustainable success on the field.

“The pedigree of what he has already achieved in county cricket is there for all to see and he thoroughly deserves this appointment.

“We strongly believe he is the man to lead the delivery of our elite cricket performance structure and ultimately to bring success.

“With Graeme in position and a commitment made to a culture of elite performance, we’re all set for an exciting new era starting with the 2014 season.”

Welch’s departure is something of a blow for Warwickshire, although their director of cricket Dougie Brown wishes his former colleague well.

He said: “Pop has been instrumental in the club’s success over recent seasons. He’s proven to be a fantastic coach and he leaves the bowling unit in a great place.

“Derbyshire is a club he knows well and the restructuring exercise they have undertaken provides an exciting opportunity for him.

“While we’re very sad to see him go, he leaves with our best wishes and some fond memories of the success he has contributed to over recent seasons.”

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