Derbyshire County Cricket Club has appointed one of its former coaches David Houghton as the club’s new head of cricket.
Houghton, who is currently batting coach at Middlesex, will join Derbyshire at the end of the 2018 season and have overall responsibility of cricket management.
The former Zimbabwe Test batsman will be supported by John Wright, who recently served as T20 specialist coach, and will assist the club in a new advisory role supporting recruitment, talent identification and cricket strategy.
Houghton will return to Derbyshire after two previous coaching spells at the club.
He has since gone on to enjoy success as batting coach at Somerset and was part of the coaching team at Lord’s when Middlesex won the County Championship in 2016.
The 61-year-old, who is regarded as one of the world’s best batting coaches, played 22 Tests for Zimbabwe from 1992 to 1997, scoring 1,464 runs at an average of 43.05, with a top score of 266 – his country’s highest ever Test score. Houghton will compete the current season at Middlesex before joining in October.
Cricket advisory director Colin Tunnicliffe said: “David is highly-respected within the game and brings a wealth of experience to the role.
“During the recruitment process, David impressed us with his vision for the club and made it clear that he wants to continue and build on the progress shown over the last couple of years. As a club, we want to put a strong emphasis on developing young and home-grown cricketers, and David is also passionate about this as we build for the future.
“We are equally pleased that John has agreed to remain with the club as an advisor. Under John’s leadership, we have seen great progress in the Vitality Blast and having access to his experience and global network will support David in his role.”
Houghton added: “I have really enjoyed my time at Middlesex and I’m grateful for their understanding. It has been a difficult decision, but the opportunity to take up the head of cricket role at Derbyshire was not one I wanted to miss.
“There is an excellent group at Derbyshire, led by club captain Billy Godleman, who are committed to improving and I am looking forward to working with them.
“On a day-to-day basis, we want to make sure we provide greater support to the players and we will put a strong emphasis on development to reinforce the group of experienced and talented guys in the dressing room. It’s clear that the club has made great progress over the last few years and we want to continue this improvement, develop the squad and ultimately be competing for trophies.”
Wright said: “David is an experienced coach and I look forward to working with him.
“I will always be a phone call away, while during the summer I will be around the Club providing support in any way I can as we look to build a successful future for Derbyshire.”