Rogers is back at Taun­ton to help good times roll

The Cricket Paper - - NEWS & FEATURE - By Jeremy Black­more

CHRIS ROGERS, the man who led Som­er­set to within four points of a maiden County Cham­pi­onship ti­tle last sum­mer, is re­turn­ing to the county in a new role as bat­ting coach and player men­tor.

The club hopes Rogers’ pres­ence will in­spire the play­ers to go one bet­ter this sea­son and main­tain the ag­gres­sive, pos­i­tive brand of cricket they played in 2016.

Rogers, who re­tired from play­ing af­ter scor­ing cen­turies in both in­nings of Som­er­set’s fi­nal match of the sea­son last Septem­ber, is keen to de­velop a new ca­reer in coach­ing.

He is due to re­join the club for four months from the be­gin­ning of March, sub­ject to his visa ap­pli­ca­tion be­ing granted.

Di­rec­tor of Cricket Matt May­nard told The Cricket Pa­per: “Chris fit­ted in re­ally well last year. The play­ers are hugely en­thused and ex­cited about what he’s go­ing to bring. The style of cricket we played last year, the stamp of that on the field was a lot down to Chris.

“If there was any part of a game where Chris was un­sure of which op­tion to take, he al­ways took the pos­i­tive route and the pos­i­tive op­tion.

“The guys will see Chris and re­mem­ber the way he played, how dis­ci­plined we were with the ball, how ath­letic we were in the field, how pas­sion­ate we were about sav­ing those sin­gles in four-day cricket and then how proac­tive we were as a bat­ting group. Just hav­ing Chris there will be a sub­lim­i­nal re­minder of that.

“He loves the game, he’s got a great knowl­edge of it both tech­ni­cally and tac­ti­cally, and he just ap­pears ide­ally suited to be­com­ing a real top coach. As part of a thank you for ev­ery­thing he did for us last year as well as an un­der­stand­ing of the club and the cul­ture of the club, and to give him a lit­tle ex­po­sure to coach­ing, we agreed to in­vite him back to ap­ply for the po­si­tion and he was ob­vi­ously the out­stand­ing can­di­date for it.”

As well as of­fer­ing con­ti­nu­ity, Rogers will also of­fer sup­port to his suc­ces­sor as cap­tain, opener Tom Abell, who is tak­ing over at the age of 22.

“It’s go­ing to be im­por­tant for Tom to use Chris as much as he wants. He’s ob­vi­ously got a lot of good se­nior play­ers in the team, as well as the play­ers of his own gen­er­a­tion, and so there will be a lot of ad­vice for him out there. But ev­ery now and then it will be nice to have a pair of eyes and ears that are off the pitch and that’s what Chris can of­fer Tom, plus the other young bats­men on the staff will be re­ally im­por­tant.”

May­nard out­lined what the new role as men­tor would in­volve: “Talk­ing to the guys about the game, about the tac­ti­cal as­pects, about how to cope with pres­sure, how you change gears through the dif­fer­ent for­mats and also through­out an in­nings in whichever for­mat. There’s so many ar­eas that he can of­fer that men­tor­ship to the play­ers.

“Also to the bowlers. On this par­tic­u­lar wicket, where would he pre­fer the ball to be bowled to him as a bats­man and pass on that ad­vice as well back to the bowlers, so I’m re­ally ex­cited about the prospect.

“He’s a great lad, he fit­ted in su­perbly, he’s hugely re­spected and did a fan­tas­tic job for us.

“I’m sure that will con­tinue in his new role.”

Re­gard­ing his re­turn, Rogers said:“Last year Matt and I floated the idea of com­ing back in a coach­ing ca­pac­ity if I did re­tire and I’m greatly ap­pre­cia­tive that he and the club have given me this op­por­tu­nity to work with the play­ers and de­velop my own skills. Coach­ing is some­thing I feel pas­sion­ate about as well as giv­ing back to the game and I couldn’t think of a bet­ter place to start than at Som­er­set and learn­ing from the staff there.

“The club made some sig­nif­i­cant strides last year, and hope­fully I can help Som­er­set achieve some sil­ver­ware in 2017.”

PIC­TURE: Getty Im­ages

Men­tor: Chris Rogers starred for Som­er­set on the pitch last sea­son – and now has a big role to play off it

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