WARWICKSHIRE have appointed former captain Ian Westwood in a new role as development coach.
Westwood, who retired as a player last June, will work with players across the academy and professional teams on improving their batting skills and as a mentor in a new role developed at the club.
It will be the latest chapter of the 35-year-old’s long association with the Bears.
After coming through the age groups at Edgbaston, he made his County Championship debut against Northamptonshire in the last match of 2004 when the Championship trophy was presented to the Bears after the first day.
In a long career as opening batsman, Westwood went on to score 8,077 first-class runs at an average of 33.10. He captained Warwickshire in 2009 and 2010, during which time the foundations were put in place for success to follow, notably the County Championship triumph of 2012.
Ashley Giles, sport director at Warwickshire, said: “Ian’s knowledge and experience make him a great asset to our coaching team in this new position.
“One of our top objectives is to translate a far greater proportion of the talented youngsters within the club into first-team players than has been the case for the last 20 years.
“To that end we particularly wanted someone who knows what it takes, in terms of skills and behaviours, to move from academy ranks into the pro staff and Ian will work closely with our best developing players to help them make this transition.
“Ian will also play an important mentoring role with our young players to ensure that they understand what is required to play at the top level.
“It is an innovative role to which he is ideally-suited and which he has fulfilled, in an informal way, in recent years as a senior player always keen to help and advise the younger guys.
“Ian will also act as a scout for us when our increasingly active scouting network pinpoints players who may potentially strengthen the first-team squad.”
Ian Westwood said: “I am delighted to have this opportunity to remain with the club I have been with since the age of ten and am really excited by the challenge ahead.
“I was lucky enough to be part of a number of trophy-winning Bears sides and now want to help ensure there is a flow of quality young players, particularly batsmen, coming through to deliver success for Warwickshire in the future.”