PEARS favourite and assistant coach Alan Richardson will oversee the Rapids’ Royal London One-Day Cup campaign this summer in the absence of head coach Alex Gidman, the club have revealed.
Gidman was named as part of the Birmingham Phoenix coaching staff for the controversial new addition to cricket’s calendar this summer, meaning the county’s former paceman Richardson will step into his shoes for the tournament.
The two competitions are being staged at similar times during July and August.
The move is a continuation of the bold thinking introduced by former chief Kevin Sharp, who took a backseat during the club’s triumphant 2018 Vitality Blast campaign when Gidman and Richardson teamed up.
New Second XI chief Kadeer Ali will also assist with preparations for the One-Day Cup, according to Gidman.
“There is an element of waiting and seeing how it works. Obviously we haven’t had the competition before – but Alan will definitely be in charge of the 50 over team,” he said.
“It is not a question of me not helping out now, we are a coaching unit and we all work very closely with the players. It is just a question of the two competitions clashing so Alan will run the day-to-day management of the team.
“If there is a break in The Hundred and there are a couple of days where I can go and support, watch a game and be around, then obviously I will do that. But it is also a great opportunity for Kadeer to help Alan.”
“Myself and Alan are really close, we get on very well. We are a solid partnership so there is not a huge amount he would do if I wasn’t there and vice versa.”
Gidman himself will form part of Phoenix boss Andrew McDonald’s coaching staff along with New Zealand spinner Daniel Vettori and Warwickshire first-team coach Jim Troughton.
McDonald has enjoyed spells as head coach of the Royal Challengers Bangalore in the IPL and Brisbane Heat in the Big Bash in addition to with Middlesex and Derbyshire Falcons in the Vitality Blast.
He said: “From a personal point of view, being part of The Hundred coaching set-up is exciting. It will be great to be involved with the inaugural competition and I’m very grateful for the opportunity.
“But ultimately, one of the motivations for being involved is to try and make our group of players better from what I learn for being involved in the competition.”