Norman Gifford returns to Worcestershire

Norman Gifford

Former Worcestershire captain Norman Gifford has returned to New Road to help as a part-time spin-bowling coach.

Gifford, 71, is working with England Lions all-rounder Moeen Ali, Shaaiq Choudhry and Brett D'Oliveira, grandson of his old New Road team-mate Basil.

"We have enrolled the services of Norman to help out with our spin bowlers and he has been brilliant," said director of cricket Steve Rhodes.

The former England spinner took 1,615 first-class wickets for the county.

Gifford claimed 33 wickets in his 15 Tests, the majority of them between 1971 and 1973, having made his England debut against Australia in 1964.

The Lancashire-born slow left-armer spent nine years as skipper at New Road, leading Worcestershire to the 1974 County Championship title.

Gifford left New Road in 1982 to join neighbours Warwickshire, who he also skippered for two seasons, taking his haul of first-class wickets to 2,068.

And he also came out of international retirement in the week of his 45th birthday to play two one-dayers in Sharjah in March 1985, taking 4-23 against Pakistan.

Gifford's return to New Road came in the wake of delivering one of the eulogies for Basil D'Oliveira at Worcester Cathedral in late January, at his recently-departed county and country team-mate's memorial service.

Gifford is also expected to find himself working with international cricket's most high profile spinner, Saeed Ajmal, this summer.

The Pakistan test star, England's destroyer in the 3-0 series defeat in the United Arab Emirates, is due to rejoin Worcestershire for this summer's Twenty20.

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