Cricket academy director leaves Trent Bridge

Nottinghamshire County Cricket Club.
Nottinghamshire County Cricket Club.
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The man responsible for bringing younger players through at Nottinghamshire County Cricket Club, including new England pace bowler Jake Ball, has left the club after 20 years.

Chris Tolley, 48, a former player, had been director of the academy at Trent Bridge for the past two years — an academy he was asked to set up in 2001.

Of the current Nottinghamshire squad, as well as Ball, Samit Patel, Brett Hutton, Luke Wood, Matthew Carter, Jake Libby, Tom Moores, and Ben Kitt all featured in his academy programme.

Tolley first joined the club in 1996 after leaving Worcestershire.

He made a total of 124 appearances, taking 175 wickets and scoring 2,686 runs.

Tolley was capped in 1997 and awarded a benefit in 2002, a year after being asked to setup the academy.

He said: “It has been a difficult decision to leave Trent Bridge after 20 years, but I feel it is the right time in the knowledge that I leave a strong academy with some fantastic young prospects.

“I would like to thank the club for the opportunities it has afforded me, firstly as a player and more recently as academy director. I leave with some fond memories.”

Nottinghamshire director of cricket Mick Newell said: “Over two decades, Chris has made a very big contribution.

“We were all very proud when Jake Ball made his Test debut this summer — and Chris, together with the coaches Jake has worked with in senior cricket, take a lot of credit for that.

“As Jake and other players make progress, Chris can continue to be proud of what he has achieved here.”