No shortage of candidates for Middlesex job says Lord's chief Fraser
MIDDLESEX director of cricket Angus Fraser intends to appoint the county s new coach as soon as the season ends in September. Fraser has already received several enquiries about the post since Toby Radford stood down less than a fortnight ago...
MIDDLESEX director of cricket Angus Fraser intends to appoint the county's new coach as soon as the season ends in September.
Fraser has already received several enquiries about the post since Toby Radford stood down less than a fortnight ago, claiming that his role had become marginalised.
And the former England paceman confirmed that the new man would be asked to work closely with both himself and captain Shaun Udal, whose contract runs until the end of next season.
"We want someone to coach the side, prepare the players and help them improve and develop as cricketers," Fraser told the Times. "We're looking for a coach to provide continuity and be around for some time.
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"With any coach, there has to be an element of flexibility, because some captains want to stand up and make speeches and get involved in off-field aspects of the game, others don't.
"A number of people have phoned me up since Toby left, so there won't be any shortage of candidates, but it's a question of what's the right way forward.
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"I don't want it dragging on until next February or March, that's for sure - I want to sit down sooner rather than later and start planning the way forward for next season.
"If a coach has a contract to fulfil elsewhere, that might be an issue. But I want to start dealing with the situation in September and get it sorted as soon as possible."
Fraser has already made it clear that acting coach Richard Scott, who has stepped up from his role with the second XI, will be under consideration for the job.
Scott's credentials would have been strengthened had he overseen an elusive first County Championship victory of the season this week, but Middlesex contrived to squander a winning position in their match with Northamptonshire.
At one stage, Northants were only seven runs ahead with five second-innings wickets standing, but recovered to set Middlesex 222 on the last day and bowled them out for just 186.
That left Middlesex propping up the County Championship table, having already finished bottom of their Twenty20 Cup group - although they did reach the Friends Provident quarter-finals earlier in the campaign.
"I didn't come back thinking everything would be hunky-dory," Fraser admitted. "But I expected things to go better than they have done and ultimately it's disappointing and frustrating.
"When we've not been good we've fallen away dramatically. We've got to keep competing and trust that Lady Luck will start going our way, but it's only going to happen if we put the hard work in.
"You can't hide the position we're in, but I don't sit here thinking the sole objective is not to finish bottom. I still believe we've got some gifted young cricketers at this club.
"But they are young and they're going to be inconsistent and find certain situations difficult. We hope they'll learn from those experiences and deal with it better in the future."
Fraser confirmed that four of the county's younger fringe players have already signed new contracts - pace bowlers Danny Evans and Robbie Williams and batting pair John Simpson and Adam London.
However, he added: "We've identified areas that need strengthening and we've put in several 28-day notices to other counties for players we'd like to speak to about the possibility of coming here next season."
Middlesex were on top for the majority of the Northants game at Lord's, bowling their visitors out for 288 and replying with 360, centred around half-centuries from Nick Compton, Sam Robson and Eoin Morgan.
Tim Murtagh (4-51) then made early inroads in the visitors' second innings to reduce them to 79-5, but Riki Wessels (57) and Johan van der Wath (85) hauled the visitors up to 293.
The pendulum had swung back in their favour and, despite a gutsy 55 from Udal and some resistance by the tail, Middlesex were rolled over by David Lucas (4-38) and van der Wath (3-38).