Worcestershire CCC Head Coaches past and present in Alex Gidman and Kevin Sharp have paid tribute to “amazing servant” Daryl Mitchell as he prepares to play his last match for Worcestershire CCC.
In his 225th and final first class match, Mitchell will feature in the LV=Insurance County Championship encounter with Leicestershire at New Road.
He needs 93 more runs to complete 14,000 first class runs in his lengthy and distinguished career.
Current Head Coach Gidman has encountered Mitchell as an opponent when he was captain of Gloucestershire, and since he moved himself to Worcestershire and has considerable respect and admiration for the 37-year-old.
He said: “Until I retired, myself and Daryl had similar careers in terms of scoring runs and catching catches and the leadership part of it as well.
“As a player, and obviously since becoming a coach, Daryl has always been someone I have hugely respected.
“He has been great to me as I entered the world of coaching. He has been extremely supportive of what we’ve tried to do and has been an amazing servant to Worcestershire.
“Daryl has had a great career and a career he can look back on extremely fondly and extremely proud of what he has achieved, and no doubt he will go onto great things off the pitch.
“He is that sort of character, and he will be sorely missed as an opening batsman for Worcestershire.
“But I know that he will equally be supportive in watching his replacement and wishing whoever that may be the best of luck.
“He has been a very reliable performer for Worcestershire for many years and someone that deserves everything he gets in the next step in his life and career.”
Gidman was on the receiving end of some of the four centuries Mitchell scored against Gloucestershire.
He said: “As an opposing player, Daryl was extremely hard to bowl against and plan against because he was extremely disciplined, very strong mentally, which is one of the challenges as a batsman, but especially an opening batsman.
“He was hard to plan for and hard to captain against and bowl against.
“He had a successful few games against Gloucestershire and is a very good pro who knows his game inside out, and he has had a wonderful career.”
Sharp was Gidman’s predecessor as Head Coach after initially joining the club as batting Coach and Second Eleven Coach.
He said: “Around Christmas 2013, Steve Rhodes asked me if I would be available to come and do some batting coaching with the professionals for a couple of days a week.
“Yorkshire had been my only club up to then, and I was a little nervous on arrival at Malvern College. From day one, Daryl made me very welcome, and over the years, we have spent much time together discussing technique and all things cricket.
“He has been the model professional, a great player and has often accepted invitations to come and support the development of our academy and next generation, of which we are all grateful.
“He is a much-respected person and cricketer not only at Worcestershire but in the wider cricketing world, and his recent sterling work as PCA Chairman has been rewarded with a permanent position within the organisation.
“I thank you, Mitch, for all you have done for Worcestershire and the game as a whole, and I look forward to continuing our friendship under different circumstances.”
Worcestershire have named a 12 man squad to face Leicestershire consisting of the 11 players in action at Lord’s last week plus paceman Adam Finch.
Batsman Josh Dell is still ruled out with a thumb injury.
WORCESTERSHIRE CCC (from):
Ben Cox (w)
Joe Leach ©