Two Australian coaches based in the north-west of England will coach Bangladesh after Stuart Law appointed Jason Swift as his assistant.
Swift, who is originally from the Hunter Valley in New South Wales, has been working as Lancashire’s performance analyst since 2006. He originally came to England to play for Little Lever in the Bolton League a decade earlier.
He has remained in close contact with Law since Law left Lancashire at the end of the 2008 season and the pair will fly out to Dhaka together this weekend.
“I never went looking for this, it was a case of Stuey contacting me,” said the 40-year-old after an emotional farewell to the Lancashire players in their floodlit Twenty20 victory over Warwickshire at Old Trafford.
“I always had a desire to go into first-class cricket as a coach. You don’t know if that’s going to lead to the international game but you always hope. I’m very excited to have been given this opportunity.”
Swift, who spent several years playing for the Canberra Comets in Australia’s Mercantile Mutual Cup, will be a hard man for Lancashire to replace, especially in mid-season.
He has been a key support figure to the head coach Peter Moores and his predecessor Mike Watkinson, now the county’s cricket director. He has also captained the Colts team who have played in the Northern League for the last two summers.
“When I started I came in as just the analyst in a part-time role, just doing the home games,” he said. “But I wanted to get stuck into more of the action. I saw what Sussex were doing with Sussex TV, and one or two other clubs were going down that route. When Lancashire went that way too it helped me get a full-time role.
“I think having the Colts team playing in the Northern League has been a very good thing. Look at Gareth Griffiths, who’s just been picked to play for England under-19s as a 17-year-old. It was through the Colts that we got a better look at him – and he got into the Academy through that. Tom Bailey is another young seamer who was recommended to John Stanworth last year and we had a look at him through the Colts. The way he’s bowling at the moment, he looks the business.”
But for Swift, while he will retain his Lancashire base, the horizons are now considerably wider – a tour of Zimbabwe at the end of this month, followed by a home series against West Indies. “It’s all happened pretty quick for me and Stuey,” he said. “We can’t wait to get started.”