Sadler delighted as 'standout candidate' Smith takes on batting coach role at County Ground
John Sadler says Ben Smith was the 'standout candidate' for the role of batting coach at Northamptonshire.
The County's head coach is delighted that former Leicestershire and Worcestershire player Smith has agreed to join the coaching staff at Wantage Road, stating the 49-year-old's 'record speaks for itself'.
It's a coming home of sorts for Smith, who was born in the county in Corby, but was snapped up as a youngster by the Foxes and progressed through the ranks at Grace Road, winning the County Championship title with them in 1996.
Since retiring from a 20-year playing career that saw him score just under 30,000 runs in all formats, Smith has turned his attentions to coaching.
He has had various roles with Leicestershire, Worcestershire, England Lions and the Central Stags in New Zealand.
His most recent role, which he held for four years until stepping down last month, was the batting and lead fielding consultant with Cricket Ireland.
“Ben was a standout candidate through the interviews.” said Sadler, who has held the role of batting coach at the County Ground for the past two years.
“His record speaks for itself, he’s got international experience, county experience and he’s very passionate about batting.
"His character will fit in very well with the group so we’re excited to get him on board.”
Sadler also highlighted how the role Smith plays will be key within the club, and made it clear it is not all about the first team.
“He’s going to connect with senior batters at the club, the younger batters but also have an eye on the next generation coming through and linking with the academy too," he said.
“He’ll really oversee our whole batting unit so there’s a common thread up and down the system.”
It is a role that Smith says he will relish, saying: “Looking at how the team has played over the last couple of years, and when you look at successful teams in county cricket, they’re the teams that are consistent.
“Performances on the field are what matter ultimately and it’s the processes that go on behind the scenes, how you train and prepare as a group that bring those consistent results.
"I’m looking forward to working towards that with the batters at every stage of their immediate careers.”