London, Nov 11 (IANS) Former England cricketer Bruce French has retired as national lead wicket-keeping coach after spending 11 years in the role. He has taken this decision in order to be with his family.
French had joined the England and Wales Cricket Board coaching team at the national cricket performance centre in 2009.
The former Nottinghamshire stalwart, who played 16 Tests and 13 ODIs for his country, has been pivotal in the development of England’s wicketkeepers over the past decade ensuring that English keepers are regarded amongst the best in the world, stated ECB in a statement.
“I would like to thank Bruce and those that are leaving the performance department for their contribution to the elite set-up over the past few years,” said Ashley Giles, Managing Director, England men’s cricket.
“It has been a challenging time for all, but I am very proud of the efforts of every individual and the loyalty they have shown in maintaining England cricket at the forefront of international sport and competition,” he added.
The 61-year-old will however continue providing coaching needs across the game as a part-time consultant.
He has done an outstanding job in the career development of Matt Prior, Jonny Bairstow, Jos Buttler, Ben Foakes and Sarah Taylor, the ECB statement further read.
Mo Bobat, Performance Director, England men’s cricket, said: “English cricket owes a huge debt of gratitude to Bruce for the fine work that he has done over a number of years. For some time, we have been able to select from an oversupply of excellent wicketkeepers and Bruce has played a significant role in developing those players.”