In a rare but welcome move, English County side Sussex has named Sarah Taylor, one of the greatest keepers to have graced the women’s game, in their men’s team coaching staff for the upcoming season.
While there are instances of women coaches being involved in men’s arena, Taylor probably is one of the most high-profile coaching appointments in men’s cricket.
The 31-year-old Taylor, who has represented England in 226 games across formats with a world record 232 dismissals to her credit, quit the game in 2019 due to mental health issues. She scored more than 6500 runs in her career.
“Sussex Cricket is delighted to announce the addition of Sarah Taylor and Ashley Wright to its coaching staff for the forthcoming season. Supporting the full-time coaching team, the pair will work with the professional squad and the Sussex Cricket Pathway on a part-time basis,” the County said in a press statement.
Taylor will work with club’s wicketkeepers, passing on her vast knowledge on glovework.
“I’m really pleased about working with the club’s wicketkeepers. From Ben Brown and Phil Salt in the professional squad and down through the pathway, we have a really talented group of keepers at Sussex who I am looking forward to working with immensely,” Taylor told club’s website.
“I want to share my experience and expertise to help them get the most out of their game. I’m a big believer in keeping things simple and perfecting the basics so that players can enjoy and express themselves with the gloves,” she added.
Former England pacer and Sussex’s men’s team’s joint head coach James Kirtley welcomed the move.
“Sarah has so much to offer our players, but also our environment. She is hugely skilled in the world of wicket-keeping, but she will also bring so much good as a person around our group.
“She adds great perspective to a situation and as a coach she provides an excellent sounding board for ideas and is a fantastic communicator. I am certain she will become a huge asset to our setup,” Kirtley said.
— Ashwin 🇮🇳 (@ashwinravi99) March 16, 2021
In fact, India and world’s leading spinner Ravichandran Ashwin was one of the first to express his happiness.
“The change is here,” Ashwin tweeted tagging former Proteas performance analyst Prasanna Agoram.