Patel joins England staff

Wellington Firebirds' Jeetan Patel seen during the Burger King Super Smash game between Wellington Firebirds vs Northern Knights, Basin Reserve, Wellington, Saturday 12th January 2019. Copyright Photo: Raghavan Venugopal / © 2019

Firebirds offspinner Jeetan Patel has accepted a role on the England coaching staff for the upcoming T20 series against the BLACKCAPS starting next month.

Patel has been granted dispensation from his Wellington contract for the first three rounds of the Plunket Shield to take up the prized role as England's spin-bowling consultant.

The 24-test New Zealand offspinner and Warwickshire captain was shoulder-tapped by the England and Wales Cricket Board who announced Patel overnight.

Patel will miss the Firebirds opening game of the Plunket Shield against Otago starting on Monday, as well as their round two and three fixtures against Canterbury and Auckland.

"This is a great chance for Jeets to explore the opportunities available to him in life after playing cricket," said Firebirds head coach Glenn Pocknall.

"He'll bring a huge amount of knowledge and experience to the England setup, not just from a spin-bowling perspective but also in the short-form perspective."

Patel told reporters he was relishing the new opportunity and has had the full support of Cricket Wellington in making his decision.

"The opportunity came about and I spoke to Cricket Wellington and they were very positive about me doing that, firstly for my development beyond playing and it also gives other guys an opportunity to perform in my place.

"To work with England is huge and I'm so grateful that this has come about, now it's up to me what I do with it."

NZC general manager high performance, Bryan Stronach, said it was good to see New Zealand players evolving and dveloping to the extent they were creating opportunities beyond their playing acreers.

"We're delighted Jeetan's receiving a coaching opportunity on the world stage," said Stronarch.

"It's good for Jeetan and it's good for cricket in New Zealand - particularly in terms of demonstrating our system is producing players capable of transitioning into other roles once their playing career is completed.

"Jeetan and cricket in New Zealand will benefit from this type of arrangement - the more we share information and intel, the more we're likely to get it back in return."

Article added: Friday 18 October 2019