Thursday 5 July 2007 

Pettini Named Captain As Essex Announce Overhaul

Essex have announced that following the retirement of Ronnie Irani, Mark Pettini will take over as first team captain on a permanent basis with James Foster installed as his vice-captain.

Paul Grayson has also been appointed as first team coach with John Childs taking charge of the second team.

In a statement released earlier today, David East, Essex Chief Executive explained:

“The Cricket Committee discussed the captaincy and the structure of our coaching squads at length at a meeting on Monday June 25 and reached the conclusion that we strongly believed Mark Pettini had demonstrated that he had the ability and the will and drive to take the side forward. As a result we made that recommendation to the General Committee – which is where the final decision resides – which was endorsed at a meeting yesterday (Wednesday July 4). As of now, Mark Pettini becomes our First-Team Captain, the Vice-Captain will become James Foster and Ronnie Irani will remain in the figurehead position of Club Captain for the remainder of this season. As of 2008, following the departure of Ronnie Irani, Mark will take over as Captain of the Club.

“In addition, Paul Grayson is going to move from his responsibilities with the second team to become First Team Coach. John Childs is going to have a dual role of Second Team Coach and Academy Director. Graham Gooch’s position remains unchanged as Batting Coach.”

Mark Pettini issued the following statement:

“It’s been quite nice over the last month or so to have had some time to ease my way into the job (since previous Captain Ronnie Irani stopped playing). Now that it’s official I have the second half of the season to really get stuck into the job and hopefully set myself up for next year.

“Captaincy is not something I’ve thought about much over the last few years – I’ve just been trying to cement my place in the side – but now that chance has been given to me there are certainly some great names that I’ll be following.

“I’m confident that I will be up to the task. Everyone has doubts when they start doing something new – particularly something as big as the captaincy – but we’ve achieved some really great results over the last few weeks. There was a period where we won five games in a row with me in charge recently so that gave me a lot of confidence in terms of thinking that I was able to do the captaincy.”

Paul Grayson spoke of his new role as first team coach, commenting:

Paul Grayson on his new position

“My new role is First Team Coach to work with our new Captain Mark Pettini. When Ronnie Irani was in charge he didn’t really need a regular coach all the time – we always shared it between myself and Graham Gooch – but now that Mark’s got the job he feels that he wants someone with him all the time and I’m delighted to take that role. Ronnie has done a magnificent job in leading the side over the last few years so I hope that myself and Mark can now bring the County further success in the years to come.”