Somerset have appointed Matthew Maynard as head coach, replacing the outgoing Dave Nosworthy, according to ESPN.
Under Maynard, the Taunton outfit will be hoping to arrest the mediocrity that was allowed to fester during Nosworthy’s reign, which ended a year earlier than expected.
On top of their frustration in the four-day game, they failed to reach the knock-out stages of either the Natwest T20 Blast or the Royal London One-Day Cup.
Maynard is something of a surprise selection, considering the number of high-profile coaches who had been linked with the role, most notably including Ashley Giles.
The former England ODI coach, who was even linked with succeeding Andy Flower as Test coach - expressed an interest in taking charge at Somerset, but will now focus on the same position at Lancashire. The current incumbent, Glen Chapple has admitted he is considering his future following the Red Rose’s relegation to Division Two.
England’s disastrous T20 World Cup earlier this year may have counted against Giles, who has struggled to break back into coaching since.
Familiar face in county cricket
While it looked as though Somerset might try and appoint from within, they have gone for a former Glamorgan coach.
Having worked with Glamorgan until 2010, he took a break from the game in 2012 following the death of his son, the former Glamorgan and Surrey batsman Tom Maynard. Since returning to cricket, he has been re-finding his feet coaching in both South Africa and in the Caribbean Premier League.
Though there is plenty to be worked with in terms of a blend of experience and talented youngsters, the Somerset post is certainly a challenging one, with a number of internal issues that need to be addressed sooner rather than later.
Former England batsman Marcus Trescothick’s captaincy has been a divisive issue throughout South African Nosworthy’s tenure, and as the new coach Maynard will almost certainly find himself under pressure regarding that role.
Trescothick recently surpassed 1000 runs for the summer, but faced calls to stand down at the start of the season. He has failed to captain Somerset to a trophy.
Once again, they were one of the season’s nearly sides, finishing in sixth place in the County Championship despite being in contention for the title for much of the first half of the season.
That disappointment has almost certainly informed Nosworthy’s decision, but Maynard must ensure it does not carry through to next year when they will try and emulate Yorkshire’s achievements.