William Porterfield says it was an opportunity he couldn't turn down
Irish international, and former Warwickshire County Cricket Club player, William Porterfield revealed his excitement at the coaching opportunity that has arisen with the County’s T20 Vitality Blast side, and will fit the coaching duties around his Inter-Provincial playing commitments with the North West Warriors.
Porterfield, 35, played for Warwickshire for seven seasons, moving to the club in late 2010 and leaving at the end of the 2017 season. During his time with the County side they won every trophy available – including the 2014 T20 Blast.
Cricket Ireland approved the request late on Friday, and will see Porterfield working with the Birmingham Bears under his former club captain and teammate, Jim Troughton – a prospect he is relishing.
“I played with Trouts [Jim Troughton] for quite a while, and played under him as captain – he’s a great man, and obviously he’s in the head coach role now. I was just chatting to Niall O’Brien about a few opportunities that were floating around, and the Bears said they’d love to have me involved. I took a look at the fixture list and it fit nicely around the Inter-Pro schedule, so it was an opportunity I couldn’t turn down. I loved every minute of playing with the Bears, especially in the T20s, so to get the chance to go back down there and help out will be great.”
“As for what the role entails, it’s an extra set of hands and a chance to gain a bit of experience for myself – running fielding drills, throwing a few balls in the nets and hitting catches. But I’ll help out in whichever way I can. There’s a few young lads in the squad that I don’t know so it will be great to get down to a few training days and get to know them. From my own perspective, T20 is obviously a big part of the game, and it’s a massive set up there, so it will be good to get stuck in and learn a bit from the other side of the fence, so to speak.”
“The 2014 season at Warwickshire was right up there as a career highlight – we were second in the Championship, runners-up in the 50-over comp and obviously won the T20 Blast. It was a great time, and a few of the lads are even still around, like Belly [Ian Bell].”
“From my point of view, whatever knowledge I can pass on is great, but I’ll be continually learning myself and getting to assess things from the other side. When you’re captain for a while you get a taste of the coaching side, but to be in a completely non-playing role will be different, but an experience I’m looking forward to. I’m grateful to Warwickshire, particularly Trouts and Paul Farbrace for the opportunity, and hopefully I can help the next crop of Bears coming through.”
Birmingham Bears first match in the Vitality Blast is at their home ground of Edgbaston on 28 August against Somerset.