Essex rope in Andre Nel in their coaching department

Essex rope in Andre Nel in their coaching department

"As a former Essex player I know it’s a fantastic Club,"- Nel.

Andre Nel
Andre Nel. (Photo by Hamish Blair/Getty Images)

English County Club, on Monday, announced the appointment of former South Africa pacer Andre Nel as their assistant head coach and bowling coach. Having played for the club between 2005 and 2008, Nel will serve as a deputy to head coach Anthony McGrath. Nel also played for Northamptonshire and Surrey in county cricket. The 41-year old replaced former England all-rounder Dmitri Mascarenhas who left following the end of his year-long contract. Nel will join up with Essex for the pre-season tour of the UAE.

While Nel is yet to make a name as a coach, he is not new to coaching. Previously, he had plied his trade as the coach of Phantom for two seasons of Ram Slam T20 competition in South Africa. Following that, he had gone on to join Easterns where he made his first big mark as coach. In 2016, he joined the South African National Cricket Academy as the assistant and bowling coach before joining Essex.

Nel represented South Africa in over 100 international games after making his debut in 2001. He played 36 Tests, 79 ODIs and a couple of T20Is, picking up a total of 231 international wickets. He eventually retired from the game in 2013 and took up coaching.

‘Great opportunity’:

Expressing his excitement over the new job, a delighted Nel said he is looking forward to working with McGrath and the Essex team. “It’s a great opportunity and I’ve only ever heard good things about Anthony McGrath as a Coach, and I can’t wait to start working alongside him and the rest of the team out in Abu Dhabi this week,” Nel was quoted as saying in Cricbuzz.

“As a former Essex player I know it’s a fantastic Club to be involved with and since leaving I’ve always followed from afar. I’m really eager to get working with such a talented group of players and contribute to the future success of the Club,” he added.

McGrath welcomed Nel’s appointment before stating that the ex-Proteas star brings a lot of experience to the table. “Andre played cricket at an elite level throughout his entire career and brings with him a huge wealth of cricket experience and knowledge. Being a former Essex player, he also has a good understanding of the Club, our fans and the ethos,” McGrath said.

“I know our bowlers are especially happy he’s on board and are looking forward to working with him, and the whole squad will profit from his technical and tactical knowledge,” he added.

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