Ben Smith quits Worcestershire to rejoin Leicestershire

Ben Smith
Smith made 138 first-class appearances for Worcestershire

Assistant coach Ben Smith is leaving Worcestershire after a decade at New Road to return to former club Leicestershire as batting coach.

Director of cricket Steve Rhodes told BBC Hereford & Worcester the 39-year-old's decision had come as a surprise.

"It will mean a little bit more work for myself, Damian [D'Oliveira] and Matt Mason.

"There are no real plans to replace him but I am sure we are strong enough to deal with it," said Rhodes.

Leicestershire head coach Phil Whitticase told BBC Radio Leicester he hopes Smith's influence will bring out the best in his players.

"Ben offers energy, he's somebody that's just recently not come out the game [as a player]," he said.

"He's been successful as a player at Worcestershire and Leicestershire, and played his part here in the two Championship wins and we just felt he would offer a lot more to us as a coach."

Smith began his first-class career with Leicestershire in 1990 but joined Worcestershire in 2002 and succeeded Graeme Hick as captain the following year.

But his spell as skipper came to a sudden end in 2004 when he quit the job in the middle of a Championship match against Northants because it was affecting his batting.

He later became player-coach for two seasons and after ending his playing career last year, having scored more than 29,000 runs in all forms of the game, including 44 centuries, took on the position of assistant coach.

"I would like to thank Worcestershire for their support over the last 10 years, firstly as a player and then guiding me into a coaching career," said Smith.

"Worcestershire is a very special club and I am incredibly proud to have represented the club and been part of its history."

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