Peter Such is to leave the ECB after ten years as National Lead Spin Bowling Coach.
The former England and Essex off-spinner joined the ECB in 2009, going full-time in 2012, to work with bowlers throughout the England Performance Pathway as well as developing and delivering the content on the Level 3 & 4 coaching courses.
One of Such’s tasks when taking the role was to develop a cohort of spin bowlers to an international standard. He has provided experience and coaching on Lions tours and in spin bowling camps around the world, whilst facilitating bowlers working alongside Stuart MacGill in Australia and Jeetan Patel in New Zealand, among other international stars.
The likes of Jack Leach, Zafar Ansari, Dom Bess, Mason Crane and Matt Parkinson have transitioned into the England team in recent years having progressed through the performance pathway under Such’s guidance, with many others excelling in county cricket in all three formats.
Such said of his departure: “I’ve loved the journey and consider myself fortunate to have been afforded the opportunity to work with our most talented young bowlers. I’ve enjoyed watching a number of them step up and make positive starts to their International careers.
“A large part of the role has involved working with talented spin bowlers around the county network. I’ve really appreciated the openness and the welcome I’ve received around the counties. It’s been a wonderful journey and I’m looking forward to continuing my passion for spin and coaching.”
Ashley Giles, Managing Director of England Men’s Cricket, said: “I’d like to thank Peter for his fantastic contribution to the England Performance Programme and for his dedication to developing our best young spin bowlers.
“His thorough approach to training and development has seen our players gaining invaluable experience on pitches around the world under the tuition of some of the best spinners in the game. This has helped create an exciting new pool of spinners that will hopefully support the success of the England Men’s team for years to come.”
He leaves with our best wishes and thanks.
What have you taken from the role over the last ten years?
Personally, as a coach, I feel I’ve learnt a lot from being around some great people who are passionate about developing cricketers. Coaching is something I find tremendously rewarding, it gets you close to the buzz you got from playing.
At this point I need to pay tribute to a guy who sadly is no longer with us, Terry Jenner, he pushed and supported me into getting the role. TJ was a guy I had tremendous admiration for in the way that he simplified the art of coaching spin. I learnt a lot from his coaching having worked alongside him in both Adelaide and the UK.
I’ve loved and valued the opportunity to be involved in Coach Education, a vital area for the health of spin bowling, I feel we’ve grown the pool of spin bowling coaches and up skilled a great many more. Research into spin bowling through partnerships with both Loughborough and Bangor Universities has played a part in all this, helping to inform coaching practice.
How has spin bowling coaching changed over the last decade?
When I started there wasn’t a spin bowling program and precious few spin bowling coaches. Through funding from the Brian Johnston Memorial Trust (BJMT), a partnership with First Class Counties and the MCC Universities we provided specialist spin bowling coaching for all county academies and the MCC Universities.
This was the only program to cover both the men’s and the women’s pathway. Within the men’s pathway, this program produced 60 bowlers who went on to gain full time county contracts, there have been 15 England Lions spinners and 8 Full Internationals, similar results have been achieved on the women’s pathway.
This has also gone a long way towards increasing the pool of spin bowling coaches. Hopefully this work will continue through the new County Partnership Agreement.
You’ve helped organise many overseas opportunities for your spinners – how do these experiences help develop the players?
I’ve always believed that spin bowlers need to bowl overs to progress and to that end we have continued to support young spinners on Overseas Placements during the off season through the generosity of an external donor. Programs like this help to supplement much needed bowling opportunities as well as providing a great experiential learning opportunity. At home we’ve looked to create a more favorable environment for spin within our domestic game.
Lions cricket is an important part of an England players development, a great opportunity to go up against their peers in a highly competitive match play, both home and abroad. I’m sure these opportunities have helped to shape the likes of Moeen Ali, Adil Rashid, Jack Leach, Liam Dawson, Dom Bess, Matt Parkinson and numerous others.
Who would you like to thank?
There are almost too many people to thank, who have helped out along the way. Spin bowling owes the BJMT a debt of gratitude for the investment and support it provided over the years in developing talent around the country.
From a Lions perspective I’m grateful for the support of all those in the Performance Department, to Andy Flower as Head Coach and the work done by Guy Jackson and his team behind the scenes at the National Cricket Performance Centre.
And in the county network I’ve really appreciated the openness and the welcome received. It’s been a wonderful journey and I’m looking forward to continuing my passion for spin and coaching.