Wednesday, June 29th, 2016

Remembering Damian D’oliveira And His Legacy Two Years On

Remembering Damian D’oliveira And His Legacy Two Years On

It's two years ago today that Worcestershire Academy Director Damian D'Oliveira passed away after his brave battle against cancer – but his legacy and memory lives on at New Road.

A look at the current first team squad – and the levels below – is instant proof of the impact Damian continues to have with the County.

It is commonplace for nine of the Worcestershire team to be former Academy products with all of them coming under Damian's wing at some stage.

How proud Damian would be to see son Brett making him such an impact this summer in all forms of cricket.

And Damian is never far away from Brett's thoughts and a look to the heavens is his first action after reaching a milestone out in the middle.

Now his work is being carried on effectively by current Academy coach Elliot Wilson while Damian's decision to bring in Kevin Sharp as second team coach when he became too ill to carry out his duties was another masterstroke.

It was Worcestershire Director of Cricket Steve Rhodes who broke the sad news to the players of Damian's death an hour before the start of play in the home game with Glamorgan on June 29 2014.

Many were in tears but those players are now forming the nucleus of a young and exciting side that has the potential to eventually repeat some of the success Damian and Steve enjoyed as team-mates in the 1980s and 1990s.

Skipper Daryl Mitchell said: "There is no doubt that Dolly was the biggest influence on my playing career.

"I joined the Academy at the age of 14 and from then until he sadly passed away he was my 'go to' man in terms of cricket really.

"Probably at times, he knew my game better than I did really! If something was wrong I'dask him to have a look, he'd stand at the top of the nets and within five minutes he'd have identified something.

"His legacy lives on at Worcestershire. Look at our squad and many of them are Academy graduates plus guys who have all been through the second team as well.

"They are all guys Dolly had a big impact on in their careers at Worcestershire. Now it is great that the family name lives on in a cricketing sense with Brett and it has been good to open the batting with him in the Championship and see him do so well."