Blow for Northants as bowling coach Liddle quits to join England Women

Chris Liddle has left Northamptonshire after four years as the club's bowling coach  (Photo by David Rogers/Getty Images)Chris Liddle has left Northamptonshire after four years as the club's bowling coach  (Photo by David Rogers/Getty Images)
Chris Liddle has left Northamptonshire after four years as the club's bowling coach (Photo by David Rogers/Getty Images)
Northants are now on the lookout for a new bowling and batting coach after the unexpected departure of Chris Liddle.

Liddle has been bowling coach at the County Ground since the start of the 2020 season, but it has been announced he is quitting to take up a role with England Women.

The former Leicestershire, Sussex and Gloucestershire left-arm pace bowler joins the national set-up to become the England Women Performance Pace Bowling Coach.

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Liddle's departure from Wantage Road follows that of batting coach Ben Smith, who was relieved of his duties at the end of the 2023 campaign, meaning two key coaching positions at the club are now vacant.

“I’d like to say a big thank you to Northamptonshire,” said Liddle, who joined the club at the same time as current head coach John Sadler, who was appointed batting coach under the stewardship of David Ripley.

“I have thoroughly enjoyed my time at the club and working with the players and all the backroom staff.

"It’s been great to see and support the development of individuals over the years and the success of the team along the way, especially with the improvements in the bowling attack’s wicket taking ability in T20 cricket.

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“I’d like to wish Sads (John Sadler) and the team the very best.”

While at Northants, former Netherlands bowling coach Liddle has worked with the Sunrisers and London Spirit women's teams, and those stints opened the door to joining the England Women set-up, whose head coach is Jon Lewis.

“It’s an incredibly exciting time to be joining England Women and I’m really looking forward to getting started,” added the 39-year-old.

“The demand on the fast bowlers has increased over the years and I want to be able to provide them with the skills required to grow and develop to be successful over a long period of time.”

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Northants chief executive Ray Payne said: “I’d like to thank Chris for the hard work he’s put in over the last couple of years, not just with the first team squad but our young developing bowlers too.

“While it’s disappointing to be losing Chris from our dressing room, we’re excited to see him take this next step in his career and wish him all the best.

“I look forward to seeing him back at Wantage Road next summer when England Women come to visit again.”

Jonathan Finch, the director of England Women’s Cricket, said: “This role is pivotal in developing pace bowlers across the pathway and we are excited by the impact Chris will have as we look to support more players on their journey to play international cricket.

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"Chris’ experience across multiple international and domestic tournaments, along with his knowledge of pace bowling only adds to the coaching team we have been able to put in place.”

“I would also like to thank Northamptonshire CCC in allowing Chris to make the move to his new role so quickly and support our preparation for the upcoming tour to India.”

Northants, who are currently sifting through ‘strong’ applications for the role of the new batting coach at the County Ground, will now have to advertise for a new bowling coach as well.

The players have returned for the start of pre-season this week.