Smith the favourite for Leicestershire batting coach job

 

Former Leicestershire batsman Ben Smith has emerged as favourite to become the new batting coach at Grace Road.

Smith, 39, is currently the batting coach at Worcestershire but is believed to be Leicestershire’s preferred choice to fill the gap that was left by Tim Boon’s departure to head up England’s Under-19 set-up in September 2010.

If Smith accepts Leicestershire’s offer it means that he will return to Grace Road after a ten-year absence.

Smith made his first-class debut for Leicestershire in 1990 and helped them win the County Championship in 1996 and 1998.

He left Grace Road at the end of the 2001 season and was appointed Worcestershire captain at the end of his first season at New Road as successor to Graeme Hick.

Smith resigned the Worcestershire captaincy in August 2004 and retired from first-class cricket late in the 2010 season having scored almost 18,500 first-class runs, including 40 centuries, and 9,780 one-day runs.

In the latter stages of his playing career Smith worked as Worcestershire’s part-time fielding coach and he acquired additional responsibilities as batting coach when he retired from playing.

Last season Smith divided his time between first and second teams as well as Worcestershire’s academy as part of Steve Rhodes’s coaching team.

Smith is understood to have come close to landing the job of Surrey’s Second XI coach, a job that went to former England one-day batsman Ali Brown.

Former England one-day international wicketkeeper Paul Nixon, who retired from playing in September, had been linked with the batting coach job at Leicestershire but the job was advertised after he failed to agree terms.

Smith, a product of Leicestershire’s youth system, is a Level Four qualified coach and is set to join a coaching team headed by Phil Whitticase and also including bowling coach Lloyd Tennant.

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