Four years after he resigned as their director of cricket, David Houghton will be back with Derbyshire next season.
The 54-year-old former Zimbabwe captain and coach is to be Derbyshire’s batting coach, working with the county as a freelance consultant on a similar basis to the job he did with Northamptonshire last season.
Houghton, who still has his home in Derbyshire, is to start his new role in the new year after spending the winter back in his native Zimbabwe, where he is the director of national coaching. He will then be on hand to work with the county’s batsmen through the 2012 campaign.
The appointment of Houghton is the first use of the £25,000 specialist coaching fund established through chairman Chris Grant’s future cricket strategy in June.
Houghton came to Derbyshire as director of cricket in September 2003 but he left in July 2007, resigning after the committee refused to guarantee they would offer him a new contract at the end of that season.
Since then, his reputation as a coach has been enhanced by working with England’s batsmen alongside his former international team-mate Andy Flower. He returned to the fold with Zimbabwe in 2009.
“David is a premium world-class batting coach,” said Derbyshire head coach Karl Krikken. “His knowledge and experience will be of great benefit to all of our batsmen, as it has been to players in the international set-up during periods of coaching with the ECB.
“Presenting our batsmen with the opportunity to work with one of the best batting coaches in the game shows the specialist coaching fund is coming to fruition with tangible benefits.”