Wednesday, September 16th, 2015

Rhodes Pride At Being Named Part Of England Lions Winter Coaching Set-Up

Rhodes Pride At Being Named Part Of England Lions Winter Coaching Set-Up

Worcestershire Director Of Cricket Steve Rhodes has revealed his pride at being named as part of the England Lions coaching set-up for their winter programme in the United Arab Emirates.

Former England wicket-keeper Rhodes is relishing the opportunity to work with Andy Flower – now the ECB's technical director of elite coaching – and the ECB's lead batting coach Graham Thorpe.

The 51-year-old, who played in 11 Tests and nine One-Day Internationals between 1989 and 1996, believes that Worcestershire will also reap the benefits of his spell with the Lions.

And Rhodes also has full confidence in assistant coach-bowling coach Matt Mason, batting coach-second eleven coach Kevin Sharp and academy coach Elliot Wilson to ensure Worcestershire continue to operate smoothly during his absence.

Rhodes said: ""It is an honour to be involved with any sort of national team. As a player I always wanted to play for England and the highest achievement is representing your national team in some capacity – and this is no different.

"But the most important thing in my development as a coach I think is spending time with the other coaches that are going to be out there, the likes of Andy Flower who is a man I've spent a lot of time with.

"Playing against him, I admired his skills and the manner in which he turned himself into the number one batsman in the world and also his coaching abilities.

"So I'm very interested and open eyed to listen and learn as much as I can from the likes of him and Graham Thorpe etc.

"It will be a good opportunity for me to better myself as a coach and hopefully I can bring something to the table as well at the same time so it will be a two-way thing.

"But most importantly for Worcestershire, to be able to come back to Worcester and have learnt and seen how international teams work is going to be a really good thing for the team at Worcester, the culture as well as what we want to try and achieve which can only get better."

Rhodes has built a reputation at New Road for nurturing and giving young English talent a chance to develop.

It was Rhodes who opted to give Moeen Ali the chance to become a front-line spinner and Worcestershire regularly field seven or eight home grown players in their first team line-ups.

Rhodes said: "I think they know what they see is what they get with me.They will know I'm a very proud Englishman who has done his best to try and play as many English players as possible.

"To me, trying to develop England players has always been a massive priority in what we are trying to achieve at Worcester."

Rhodes has confidence in Mason and Co to ensure Worcestershire run smoothly while he is in the UAE.

He said: "The bonus is for the likes of Matt Mason to take over while I'm not here. I have already been grooming, giving him extra responsibilities, in order for him to gain a flavour of the type of job I do.

"The idea is to make sure if we have these eventualities, like myself being away with the Engand Lions, that you've got someone who is there ready to keep the ship sailing in the right direction.

"I've got every confidence in him and Kevin and Elliot."