Australia’s Di Venuto appointed Surrey coach

Melbourne, Feb 22 (IANS) Australia batting coach Michael Di Venuto has been appointed as the head coach of the Surrey County Cricket Club in England.

Di Venuto, who represented Australia in nine One-Day Internationals (ODI) in 1997, has experience of English domestic cricket, having played with counties such as Durham, Derbyshire and Sussex.

The 42-year-old Tasmanian will end his three-year stint with the Australia coaching staff after next month’s tour of South Africa before heading to England for the start of the county season.

“I’ve thoroughly enjoyed my time working with the Australian team under Darren Lehmann.

“I’ll miss working day in and day out with Australia’s best players but the opportunity to take on a head coach role at a club like Surrey was just too good to turn down,” Di Venuto was quoted as saying by a Cricket Australia (CA) statement on Monday.

Following Di Venuto’s departure, Greg Blewett, the current fielding coach with the national squad, will take over as the batting coach.

CA executive general manager (team performance) Pat Howard congratulated Di Venuto on his appointment and thanked him for his contribution to the Australian team’s success during his tenure, which included the Ashes victory at home in the 2013-14 season, a Test series win away to South Africa and last year’s World Cup triumph.

“Michael has played a very important role supporting the Australian team over the last three years, including this past home summer when he stood in for Darren Lehmann as head coach,” Howard said.

“He has brought a tremendous work ethic and commitment to the role and we have no doubt that this head coaching opportunity with Surrey will provide him with fantastic experience leading his own team, continuing his rapid development as an elite coach.”

“We thank him for his great service and hope that at some point in the future we can welcome him back to Australian cricket,” he added.

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