Leicestershire have restructured their coaching setup so that it no longer includes a director of cricket, according to BBC Sport.
The position at Grace Road has lasted just over a year after Phil Whitticase became the first when he was appointed in August 2013. Whitticase, who has been with Leicestershire in a number of capacities for over 30 years, remains with the county for the meantime, but the decision has fuelled speculation over his future.
Chief executive Andrew Boyce told BBC Radio Leicester that although Whitticase had “technically been made redundant”, the club would be continuing talks with him.
According to a club statement, the board felt that the current system “wasn’t quite right”, and “the coaches also said that it wasn’t right because they are the ones that are doing it day in and day out”.
Is restructuring the answer?
Inaction is certainly not an option for Leicestershire. Not only did they finish bottom of Division Two in the County Championship this season, they have now gone two seasons without winning a single match.
However, while the board seem to have pinned the blame on the coaching setup, in reality, it is the playing budget that is at the heart of the issue. Once again, so many players have already moved on that the Leicestershire that takes to the field in 2015 will be a very different one.
Veteran bowler Charlie Shreck is one of the very few to offer any sort of stability, having signed a new one-year deal earlier this week. The 36-year-old, who took 57 wickets in all competitions during the last campaign, will have said goodbye to a number of team mates.
Batsman Ned Eckersley has also been given a one-year extension, but opener Greg Smith and promising youngster Josh Cobb have both opted to leave, along with Nathan Buck and Shiv Thakor.
That exodus means that whoever is given charge of the first team will have the challenge of gelling them. Thakor sighted international aspirations as his motive for swapping Leicestershire for Derbyshire, and the longer the former go in Division Two, the less they can offer prospective and current players.
Ultimately, Leicestershire’s fate will be decided on the field, not off it, and in spite of their restructuring, they should be facing up to the prospect of another difficult year ahead.
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