SURREY cricket club has picked former Vikram Solanki to replace Michael di Venuto as its head coach.
The former England batsman, who played for Surrey and Worcestershire counties, had been Di Venuto’s deputy since 2018, when Surrey lifted the County Championship trophy.
Exiting the club after a four-year stint, the former Australian batsman said “Vik is a star”, and he “will do a great job”.
Solanki takes over the mantle at a time when talks are on to restart county cricket in August.
Vik is a star and I have absolutely loved every minute working with him and all the great support staff Surrey CCC have. He’s ready to be a Head Coach and will do a great job with the current group. Go well mate 👍🏼 https://t.co/2L3yB9UaUa
— Michael Di Venuto (@MjDiVa5) June 12, 2020
The 44-year-old will “take up the position straight away… as soon as professional players are able to return to group training”, said the club.
Surrey’s director of cricket Alec Stewart said: “I’m very fortunate to have been able to appoint someone who knows our set-up and players inside out – but has also broadened his coaching experience around the world in recent years.
“I have total confidence and faith that Vikram will step up to this new role and its associated challenges and responsibilities.”
Solanki said he was “really excited” about the new role. “We have a very talented group of players at Surrey CCC and will be looking to compete in all formats — both in any competitions that are able to be staged this summer and in the future,” he said.
“Our squad contains a great mixture of established talent and young up and coming players looking for opportunities. I’m looking forward to working with all Surrey players to make sure the Club has the best possible chance of delivering more silverware in the years to come.”
Solanki played 51 ODIs, scoring 1,097 runs at an average of 26.8, and three international T20 matches, scoring 76 runs at an average of 25.3.
In first-class cricket, Solanki played 325 matches, scoring 18,359 runs at an average of 35.8.
He notched up 34 first-class centuries, with a career-best of 270 for Worcestershire against Gloucestershire in 2008.
Besides Surrey, he had a stint as assistant coach with Royal Challengers Bangalore in the IPL.
Solanki has also served as chairman and interim chief executive of the Professional Cricketers’ Association, and president of the Federation of International Cricketers’ Associations.