Robert Croft wants to produce Glamorgan players for England

Robert Croft
Robert Croft has returned from South Africa where he has been working with the England one-day side

New Glamorgan head coach Robert Croft wants to get more players from the county into the England set-up.

Only three Glamorgan players have represented England since Croft, 42, made his international debut in 1996.

After being unveiled as Glamorgan's new cricket chief on a rolling contract, Croft confirmed increased international selection is one of his key aims.

"For the spread of the game we want to create sporting icons in Wales, it's very important," he explained.

Only Steve James and Simon Jones have represented England at Test level from Glamorgan since Croft, with Jones' debut coming in 2002.

Glamorgan players who have represented England in Tests
Maurice Turnbull v New Zealand, Christchurch, 1929/30 - nine Tests
Johnnie Clay v South Africa, The Oval, 1935 - one Test
Austin Matthews v New Zealand, The Oval, 1937 - one Test
Allan Watkins v Australia, The Oval, 1948 - 15 Tests
Gilbert Parkhouse v West Indies, Lord's, 1950 - seven Tests
Jim McConnon v Pakistan, Manchester, 1954 - two Tests
Peter Walker v South Africa, Birmingham, 1960 - three Tests
Jeff Jones v India, Mumbai, 1963/64 - 15 Tests
Tony Lewis v India, Delhi, 1972/73 - nine Tests
Greg Thomas v West Indies, Kingston, 1985/86 - five Tests
Matthew Maynard v West Indies, The Oval, 1988 - four Tests
Steve Watkin v West Indies, Leeds, 1991 - three Tests
Hugh Morris v West Indies, Birmingham, 1991 - three Tests
Robert Croft v Pakistan, The Oval, 1996 - 21 Tests
Steve James v South Africa, Lord's, 1998 - two Tests
Simon Jones v India, Lord's, 2002 - 18 Tests

Alex Wharf is the last Glamorgan player to play international limited over cricket in 2005 and Croft is keen to address no-one from the SSE Swalec Stadium getting an England call for more than a decade.

"Team success first and individual success comes after that. That is what I believe," he said.

"If you have ambition you can push the boundaries. The game is going forward and you have to keep evolving."

Lost generation

Croft is keen to promote youth at Glamorgan, but will not rush players into the starting XI.

"The next generation is my long term goal," Croft said.

"I played in a team where lots of young Welsh players played, who were not ready and potentially, we suffered a bit of a lost generation in that respect.

"So if you are a Welsh player, great, but you've got to be very good. And when you do break into that Glamorgan dressing room, there will be quality players to bring the best out of them.

"We want them here for a long time, we don't want quick fixes at Glamorgan; our mission statement is to make Wales proud.

"It comes down to ambition, where is the end of your rainbow?

"That's something the players will be challenged with in a positive way. For however long we are here, we want to leave a positive mark and look back with smiles on our faces, believing we did all we could to get Glamorgan back."

Glamorgan players who have represented England in limited overs
Pat Pocock, one cap
Greg Thomas, three caps
Matthew Maynard, 14 caps
Steve Watkin, four caps
Robert Croft, 50 caps
Simon Jones, eight caps
Alex Wharf, 13 caps

Transition

Croft feels he is far enough removed as a Glamorgan player to make the transition to head coach a smooth one, even though he is an icon at a county he has represented for 29-years.

"In some ways I felt like I left the dressing room when I was still a player, because there was such an age gap," he joked.

"When you are 42-years old, in a dressing room full of 24 and 25-years olds, what you do away from the dressing room is very, very different!

"So there had been a natural space made and I've been out of the dressing room now for three-years.

"I'm more than comfortable, where I am now and all my efforts are poured into this club."

Croft confirmed he enjoyed his spell working with England recently as a spin bowling specialist in South Africa, but currently has now plans to seek a future on the international scene.

"For however long we are here, we want to leave a positive mark and look back with smiles on our faces, believing we did all we could to get Glamorgan back," he said.

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