Chap­ple ‘de­served to land job full time’

The Cricket Paper - - NEWS - By Jimmy Booker

LAN­CASHIRE leg­end Gary Keedy ad­mits he is “gob­s­macked” that act­ing head coach Glen Chap­ple has not been given the job on a full-time ba­sis.

Chap­ple was ap­pointed af­ter Ash­ley Giles left the post last week to join home­town club War­wick­shire as sports di­rec­tor.

Giles was con­tracted to Old Traf­ford un­til 2018, but the club agreed to re­lease him from his con­tract so he could join the Edg­bas­ton out­fit and be closer to his fam­ily.

Chap­ple, one of Wis­den’s five crick­eters of the year in 2012, has been given the top job at Lan­cashire for the time be­ing, with fel­low county stal­wart Mark Chilton as his as­sis­tant.

Chap­ple was pre­vi­ously the club's bowl­ing and first-team coach and played 315 first-class matches for Lan­cashire, tak­ing 985 wick­ets, since mak­ing his de­but in 1992, and was club cap­tain from 2009 un­til his re­tire­ment in 2015.

And for­mer left-arm spin­ner Keedy, who took more than 500 first class wick­ets for Lan­cashire in 17 years at the club, feels the pow­ers that be should back the for­mer skip­per on a per­ma­nent ba­sis.

“Con­sid­er­ing what he’s done for that club on and off the field, I’m gob­s­macked that it’s just an act­ing po­si­tion,” Keedy said.

“It makes per­fect sense for him to take over. He’s got enough coach­ing ex­pe­ri­ence now to know what he’s do­ing.

“He’s a strong per­son­al­ity, a strong char­ac­ter. When we won the County Cham­pi­onship in 2011, his lead­er­ship was in­cred­i­ble, you’d run through a brick wall for him, be­cause he’d do it first for you. You want some­one like that in charge.

“Lan­cashire are one of the big­gest cricket clubs in the world, and that job is go­ing to at­tract over­seas at­ten­tion.

“I don’t know if the club are go­ing to go down that route, try­ing to get an over­seas coach in who’s got pedi­gree, or maybe it’s time to say, ‘let’s de­velop our own’.”

In ad­di­tion, Keedy was also full of praise for the work Giles did at Old Traf­ford, sin­gling out his flair for bring­ing through young tal­ents such as Eng­land opener Haseeb Hameed as a par­tic­u­lar strength.

“You can­not ques­tion the work he Giles did at Lan­cashire,” Keedy said. “From an out­sider look­ing in, I look at the likes of Hameed, Matt Parkin­son and Liam Liv­ing­stone.

“They’re all get­ting an op­por­tu­nity at first-team level, and all are do­ing well. Con­tin­u­ing to de­velop the club like that is very im­por­tant.”

Fel­low Lan­cashire leg­end Ian Austin also be­lieves ap­point­ing Chap­ple and Chilton on a full-time ba­sis is the way for­ward for the club.

“Chap­ple and Chilton know ex­actly what the club is all about,” said Austin, who spent his en­tire ca­reer with Lan­cashire, scor­ing 3,778 runs and tak­ing 262 wick­ets in 124 matches.

“They know ex­actly who and what they’re work­ing with, so I think if some­one else comes in, you might be start­ing from scratch.

“I’d be dis­ap­pointed if they didn’t get the chance. Chap­ple has been on the coach­ing staff for a num­ber of years – why not go with some­one who knows about the club and has been loyal to the club?

“If it doesn’t work, it doesn’t work. The way it is at the mo­ment, you’ve got peo­ple com­ing and go­ing left, right and cen­tre, and I don’t think that’s the an­swer.”

PIC­TURE: Getty Im­ages

Gotcha: Glen Chap­ple cel­e­brates a wicket for Lan­cashire

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