Derbyshire Cricket Club: AJ Harris named academy director

AJ Harris.
AJ Harris.
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Experienced former fast bowler AJ Harris has been appointed the new head of the Cricket Derbyshire Academy.

The highly respected 40-year-old, who has previously served the club as second XI coach and bowling coach, will now lead the quest to develop the county’s next home-grown England cricketer.

Harris enjoyed a 17-year professional playing at the County Ground, as well as across the border in Nottinghamshire and Leicestershire.

The swing ad seam bowler took 451 first-class wickets and claimed a further 225 dismissals in limited-overs forms of the game.

He will be assisted by former second XI coach Stephen Stubbings, who brings a further 13 years and 139 first-class matches of experience as a top-order batsman.

“Giving our academy prospects the chance to work regularly with AJ and Stubbo will be massive for those youngsters,” said elite rerformance director Graeme Welch. “The first-class and limited-overs experience they have can only be good for what is without doubt a very talented group of young cricketers.”

“These appointments take us a step closer to completing our elite performance player pathway.

“Once that is fully in place we’ll be set up to achieve our ambition of success for Derbyshire on the field and to produce England players. I really am confident we can achieve that.”

Both Harris and Stubbings are already pursuing their ECB Level 4 coaching - the highest accolade in English cricket coaching - and begin their roles with immediate effect.

Former academy director Howard Dytham will now focus on his role within Derbyshire Cricket Board.

Deryshire’s chief executive Simon Storey added: “It’s important that recognise the excellent contribution made by Howard Dytham to improving our development setup and laying strong foundations for young Derbyshire cricketers.

“The years of professional cricketing experience provided by AJ and Stephen, meanwhile, are the perfect way to head our groundbreaking development pathway. It gives us the best possible chance of producing a future England player.”