Steve Rhodes is to take over as head coach of the Young Lions on an interim basis until the end of the ICC Under-19 World Cup in New Zealand early in 2018.
Rhodes, who has been director of cricket at Worcestershire since 2006, has been seconded to take the reins from Andy Hurry following his appointment as director of cricket at Somerset.
David Parsons, the ECB’s Performance Director, said: “Losing Andy at the start of a busy and challenging winter left us needing to find a high-quality replacement, and we believe that appointing Steve Rhodes on an interim basis is an excellent solution.
“Obviously he is a highly experienced and respected coach as a result of his success with Worcestershire. He has already made a significant contribution to our International Pathway through his work with the England Lions in their training camp in Dubai and white-ball series against Pakistan A in the winter of 2015-16.
“He has also spent time with the senior England set-up over the last two summers. And Worcestershire have an outstanding record of contributing players to all levels of the Pathway in recent years, with five involved again this winter – including Adam Finch and Dillon Pennington in the Young Lions squad.
“Steve will work alongside Andy in the early stages of the Young Lions winter programme, before taking over ahead of the World Cup in New Zealand.
“His appointment allows us to take our time over searching for a permanent successor to Andy Hurry as head coach of the Young Lions programme.
“We are grateful to Worcestershire for allowing Steve to join us.”
Rhodes said: “It is an honour to be asked to work for your country at any level, and I’m really excited about this chance to work with the Young Lions this winter.
“I really enjoyed my time with the Lions in Dubai, and learned a lot from working in an international environment which I’ve been able to take back to Worcester for the last couple of seasons.
“I’m grateful to everyone at Worcestershire for allowing me to take this opportunity – and I’m lucky to have such high-quality staff who will relish the extra responsibility with me being away.
“My commitments with the Young Lions will end in early February at the end of the Under-19s World Cup, which means I’ll be back in plenty of time to prepare for the 2018 season, so it fits in well. I’m looking forward to the challenge of working with a new group of talented young players, at international level.”
Rhodes will join the Young Lions for the first time at their warm-weather training camp at the Desert Springs Resort in southern Spain from November 11-14, where he will work alongside Hurry.
He will then take charge when the squad head for South Africa from November 22 to December 11, for a Tri-Series which also includes Namibia, before departing for the World Cup in New Zealand on January 2. They play warm-up games on January 9 and 11 before the first of their three group games, against Namibia in Queenstown on January 15. The final is in Tauranga on February 3.
(Full details here – https://www.ecb.co.uk/news/453690)