Wednesday, March 6th, 2024


Worcestershire CCC are delighted to announce that club legend and former Club Captain, Phil Neale OBE, has agreed to become the County’s new President.

Neale, who skippered Worcestershire to six trophies between 1987 and 1991, is succeeding Cynthia Crawford MBE for a two year term from 2024 to 2026.

The appointment is subject to the approval of Worcestershire members at the 27 March Annual General Meeting in the Graeme Hick Pavilion.

Neale has acquired vast experience in all facets of cricket since he made his Worcestershire debut at the end of the 1975 season.

He was skipper for a decade with Worcestershire winning two County Championships, two Sunday Leagues, the Benson and Hedges Cup and Refuge Assurance Cup while he was at the helm.

When he hung up his spikes in 1992, Neale was 11th on Worcestershire’s all-time list of scorers in first class cricket with 17,445 runs and the fifth highest in List A cricket with 7,253.

He became Director Of Cricket at Warwickshire and Northamptonshire before becoming the Operations Manager of the England men’s team for two decades and savouring fives Ashes series wins, the 2010 T20 World Cup and 2019 World Cup at Lord’s.

Neale was also the last player to play professional cricket and football on a regular basis, making 369 appearances for Lincoln City, the sixth highest tally in the Imps history.

He said: “My England role took me away from the county for a long time but once I retired, coming back to Worcestershire, I was just pleased to feel so welcome.

“All the members are very welcoming whenever I walk on the ground, and Alan Richardson, the coaching staff and the players have accepted me around the dressing room and practice areas.

“I’m pleased to be back and contributing in any way I can which is obviously with my cricket knowledge.

“I was particularly grateful during my time as captain to Don Kenyon when he was President for the support he gave me through the cricket committee.

“If I can do anything similar for the current cricket management, to give some support on the cricket side, then I’m very happy to do that.

“The role is more of a figurehead type role and, whenever and wherever I’m asked to do so, I’ll try and represent Worcestershire to the best of my ability.

“When people say ‘what are you doing at Worcestershire?’ then I’m a resource that is available to them.

“My cricket experience is available to them. If people have got a question that I can help with, I’m willing to help them out.

“Things go around full circle in cricket. I know the game has changed but there are certain principals that don’t change.”

Neale is delighted to be reunited with Worcestershire CEO Ashley Giles after the pair were colleagues with Warwickshire and England.

He said: “Ash got into the team when I was Director Of Cricket at Warwickshire and, when we were looking for a replacement for Phil Tufnell with England, I was able to put Ashley into the frame.

“Duncan Fletcher (England Coach) had seen him play against Glamorgan when he was coach there and all my endorsements and his meant Ashley getting into the England side.

“I’ve known Ash for a long time and I’m delighted with the way his career has progressed since he stopped playing.

“When he moved to Worcestershire, I was confident it would be a very good move for everybody and, from the reaction I’m getting from around the place, I think that is proving to be true.

“Anything I can do to help Ash and the cricket management, I’m happy to do it.”

Worcestershire Acting Chair, Paul Pridgeon, who played under Neale at New Road, said: “The Board are delighted that Phil has agreed to become our new President and take over from Cynthia who has done a great job in the role.

“He is a legend for Worcestershire with that he achieved as a captain and player but also has excellent pedigree in all aspects of the game.

“Phil did a fantastic job with England for 20 years, has coaching experience and is well thought of throughout cricket.

“I’m sure his knowledge will be invaluable and a big help to Richo, Ash and the players.

“But he will also be a great ambassador for the club and is popular with our members and supporters.”