Warwickshire: Graeme Welch returns to Edgbaston as Bears bowling coach

Graeme Welch
Graeme Welch's first coaching job was with Essex after his playing career ended with Derbyshire in 2006

Graeme Welch has left his job as assistant coach with Leicestershire to rejoin Warwickshire as bowling coach in the wake of Alan Richardson's exit.

Former Bears medium-pacer Welch, 45, left Essex to become bowling coach at Edgbaston under Ashley Giles in January 2010, helping the team to win the County Championship in 2012.

Welch left to become elite performance director with Derbyshire in 2014.

But he left Derby in June 2016 after two and a half years in charge.

He then returned to cricket three months later as Leicestershire number two following the appointment of Pierre de Bruyn as head coach,

Sport director Ashley Giles said: "Graeme Welch is an outstanding bowling coach who was part of an excellent coaching team that delivered trophies at Edgbaston.

"In our view he is one of the very best bowling coaches in the game and it came as no surprise to us when he was connected with the position of England bowling coach (which went to Chris Silverwood)."

Welch said: "I am very excited by the challenge of building on the work of Alan Richardson and putting in place a bowling academy which will bring success to the club on a sustained basis."

Relegated Warwickshire will play both Welch's former clubs, Derbyshire and Leicestershire, in 2018 when they begin next summer back in Division Two of the Championship for the first time in a decade.

As well as helping to coach the 2012 title-winning team, Welch helped the Bears to win the Championship in his first season as a player in 1994 - and also played in one game when they retained their title in 1995.

Analysis

BBC WM's Richard Wilford

"The return of Graeme Welch to Edgbaston could turn out to be an extremely welcome homecoming. His previous four-year stint in the role was pivotal to the Bears' success during that period as he played his part in the emergence of England all-rounder Chris Woakes and helped Chris Wright, Keith Barker and Boyd Rankin reach the best form and rhythm of their careers.

"Warwickshire have some real potential coming through in their seam bowling ranks, headed up by their two England Under-19s George Panayi and Henry Brookes. The potential of a fit Olly Stone and the still raw Aussie-born Ryan Sidebottom would also benefit from Welch's tutelage.

"The county's commitment to a new bowling academy may well have played a major part in the former Bears seamer's decision to return to Edgbaston, and is consistent with the long-term vision of sport director Ashley Giles."

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