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Richard Dawson to leave Gloucestershire CCC for full time role with ECB

Richard Dawson to leave Gloucestershire CCC for full time role with ECB
Richard Dawson to leave Gloucestershire CCC for full time role with ECB
©Gloucestershire CCC

Richard Dawson is set to become the ECB’s Elite Performance Pathway Coach, bringing his tenure as Gloucestershire Cricket Head Coach to an end after six successful seasons with The Shire.

The 40-year-old Yorkshireman, who has led the development of the current crop of Gloucestershire players into a Division One side that can challenge for trophies in all formats, will now look to nurture talent across England and Wales working closely with ECB Performance Director Mo Bobat.

Gloucestershire CEO Will Brown spoke very highly of Dawson:

“Richard has been a fantastic coach to work with from the outset engendering a belief and excitement that has filtered into all areas of the Club. His dedication to building a positive and winning culture has been evident throughout his time in Bristol and the impact he made will be felt long after he is gone.

“Richard has taken huge pride in his role as Head Coach, working tirelessly to get the best out of himself and the players. His likeable easy-going personality, coupled with his commitment to Gloucestershire, garnered respect from the playing squad and meant he had a great rapport with the wider Club staff.

“He will be missed by players, staff and supporters alike, but we are all proud and pleased for Richard and glad that the opportunities provided for him at Gloucestershire have enabled this gateway to national recognition.”

From playing his final professional match to beginning his coaching career at Gloucestershire, the Club and Richard Dawson have had a symbiotic relationship that began back in 2008. He spent four years with The Shire as a player but also held the position of spin coach during that time. Seven years after his first appearance for the Club, he was offered the role of Head Coach.

Aged 35 at the time of his appointment, Dawson was the second youngest Head Coach on the county cricket circuit and four years younger than then Club captain Geraint Jones. That said, it was his fresh, innovative approach to learning and coaching that paved the way for Gloucestershire’s Royal London Cup One-Day success in his maiden season.

In the Vitality Blast, Dawson has led the Club to four knockout stage appearances in the last five years including a trip to Finals Day in 2020, firmly establishing Gloucestershire as one of the premier T20 teams in the UK.

Club Chairman John Hollingdale said:

“It has been great to see the results of Richard’s work over the past six seasons and his time at Gloucestershire will be fondly remembered by our Members and supporters. For many, the 2015 One-Day cup triumph at Lord’s was the best and most memorable day supporting the Club.

“Under his guidance, the team showed great determination to get back to Division One – where our Club, with its distinguished history, belongs. And of course, our record in T20 cricket over the past few years has been exceptional, only just falling short of more silverware last year.

“We would like to thank Richard for his dedication and professionalism throughout his time at the Club and wish him just as much success in his new role.”

With a talent for identifying and developing skilled cricketers, Dawson was first introduced to the England setup as a coach in 2018 when he was appointed to the ECB scouting network designed to assess players with the potential to play international cricket.

In December 2019, his coaching work with the ECB began as he travelled to Mumbai for a specialist training camp in which he worked with prospective England spinners Dom Bess, Amar Virdi and Mason Crane.

Following this successful camp, Dawson took charge of the England Lions for an eight-match tour of Australia at the beginning of 2020 and returned home undefeated, the first Lions coach to achieve this feat.

Mirroring his early success with Gloucestershire, Dawson continued to impress in his England roles and worked under current England Head Coach of the England national team, Chris Silverwood, as spin coach in the lead up to the first Test series of 2020 against West Indies.

Richard Dawson said:

“It has been a huge privilege to have been the Head Coach of Gloucestershire Cricket since 2015.

“There were highs and lows on the pitch but winning the Royal London One-Day Cup in 2015 and gaining promotion to Division One of the County Championship in 2019 were highlights on the pitch, as was seeing a Gloucestershire player breaking into the England set up last year.

“As a playing and coaching unit, we have faced a lot of challenges off the field, and I’m proud of the togetherness of this squad, who have been incredibly supportive of one another through good and bad times. I’m confident the group is in a strong place with a healthy mix of experience and youth to compete in all formats of the game.

“Thank you to the Members and fans who have been amazing in supporting the players and coaching team throughout my time as Head Coach. I’d like to wish the team, coaching staff and everybody else at the Club all the best for this season and beyond.

“I am looking forward to the challenge of this new role at ECB and leave with fantastic memories of my time at Gloucestershire.”

As Head Coach, Dawson has handed First-class debuts to current squad members James Bracey, George Hankins, Ben Charlesworth, Harry Hankins and Tom Price. He has also recruited Graeme van Buuren, Ryan Higgins, George Scott, Tom Lace and Jared Warner.

Dawson will remain as part of the Gloucestershire setup until the end of March before beginning his role as Elite Performance Pathway Coach in mid-April. In his place, Ian Harvey will take over as the Club’s Interim Head Coach with the support of the existing coaching staff. He will also have the non-executive support of Matt Windows, Chairman of Cricket, and David Graveney, who was recently elected to the Club Board and has vast experience from his time as a player, coach, selector and administrator in the national game. The Club will now begin a review of its cricketing requirements in order to continue and grow ahead of a formal recruitment process later in the year.

© Cricket World 2021