Tom Smith to accompany England Women in UAE
Former Lancashire County Cricket Club Captain Tom Smith will lend his coaching expertise to the England Women team as they continue their World Cup preparation.
Heather Knight’s 25-strong group landed in United Arab Emirates yesterday ahead of a three-week training camp and are set to work with Smith and a number of other ex-professionals.
Smith, who was forced to retire through injury in January this year, will take on the responsibilities of Assistant Coach for the duration of the tour.
Head Coach Mark Robinson is delighted to add to the coaching team for the trip, which also includes fellow ex-players Gareth Breese, James Kirtley and former Lancashire Academy Director John Stanworth. “We were aware that Tom had recently retired, I spoke to him and he was keen to get involved,” explained Robinson.
"He is fresh out of the game and is hungry to learn and develop as a coach. It’s great to get him in."
“He’s spent some time with the squad already and has fitted in brilliantly. He is a lively person with experience and knowledge to pass on. That means he can understand and empathise with the players in terms of the highs and lows they will experience during matches.
“Tom is also going to be an assistant at Lancashire Thunder in the Kia Super League. It’s important to have coaches that can see the squad play in competitive situations. Whatever your pedigree as a coach you need to see them play to build your own understanding of the women’s game."
Tom, after landing in the UAE with the England squad, said, "I'm really looking forward to the next few weeks with the England Women's squad. I met up with them earlier in the year and they're a cracking group of girls and I'm excited to start working with them.
"It's another stage of development for me as a coach working with international players at the top of their game. Hopefully the next few weeks will assist me ahead of working with Lancashire Thunder in the Kia Super League this summer.
"I would like to thank Head Coach Mark Robinson for this opportunity and it should be a great couple of weeks."
The Red Rose connection has been strengthened further with the news that wicketkeeper Sarah Taylor – who will play for Lancashire Thunder in the Kia Super League – has joined the group as she continues her return to full fitness.
Commenting on this development, Robinson said: “Sarah Taylor is going really well at the moment and is back in training. Her return is a graduated one which is being regularly reviewed as she hopefully works herself back to full fitness. Her goal is still to give herself the best chance of being able to play in the World Cup.”
Five players from the LCB Women including Kate Cross, Alex Hartley, Emma Lamb, Sophie Ecclestone and Evelyn Jones have all been included in the squad who will play two inter-squad games before taking on Ireland in three 50 over match on 24, 26 and 28 April.
Tom Smith's Celebration Dinner
Smith will be holding an afternoon and evening of entertainment at Emirates Old Trafford to celebrate his career on Sunday 23rd July.
The event will take place in The Point on the day Lancashire Lightning take on last year’s NatWest T20 Blast semi-finalists Durham Jets (2:30pm start), with celebrations starting post-match at 17:30pm.
The guest speakers announced for this special event are James Anderson, Graeme Swan and Stuart Broad. The British Golf Open will be screened throughout the day in The Point. Tickets for the event, which include a three-course meal and entry to the match are priced at £55 per ticket or £500 for a table of ten. Members can buy tickets at the special rate of £35 and are available by calling 0161 868 6810.