Leicestershire's Phil Whitticase delighted by Ben Smith deal

Ben Smith
Smith only retired as a player in 2010

Leicestershire head coach Phil Whitticase says Ben Smith's appointment as batting coach will have a huge impact on their Championship form.

Leicestershire finished bottom of Division Two of the County Championship in 2011, winning just one game.

Whitticase told BBC Radio Leicester Smith's signing is a significant one.

"He will obviously specialise with the batting, but will assist me, work closely with the second team and take our fielding to a new level," he said.

"With the way the game is moving forward it's important we have these athletes out on the field."

Smith, who has gained his Level 4 coaching qualification, played for Leicestershire for 11 seasons from 1990 before joining Worcestershire.

He played for Worcestershire from 2002 until 2010 and became full-time assistant coach last season.

Whitticase added: "We felt he would offer a lot to us as a coach.

"He is heavily involved with Graham Thorpe and the England batters and has also played quite a role with the fielding groups.

"We haven't scored enough runs in the first innings [in the Championship] and have always put ourselves in a position where we are chasing a game or holding onto a game.

"Ben can offer expertise in a key area. He can offer a bit of confidence and maybe remind the players that they are here because they are good players."