Sat, 21 May 2022

London [UK], January 21 (ANI): Former England batter Vikram Solanki left his role as Surrey County Cricket Club Head Coach in order to take on a Director of Cricket role at a team in the Indian Premier League (IPL).

Solanki initially joined Surrey as a player ahead of the 2013 season. He remained a key part of the First XI for three seasons, scoring 2,400 runs across all formats and providing vital support to captain Gareth Batty as the Club sought a return to Division One of the County Championship.

In 2016, he took on a player/coach role with the Second XI helping to develop the likes of Ryan Patel, Ollie Pope and Amar Virdi as they progressed towards their senior debuts. He remained with the Second XI for the 2017 season entirely in a coaching capacity.

"Surrey has been an extremely valuable part of my life for the last nine years, both as a player and as a coach, making the decision to leave a difficult one. I am forever grateful for the level of support that has always been afforded to me and my family during my time here. A special thank you too to Alec Stewart who has been a mentor and a guide," said Solanki as per an official release.

"I will always remain inspired by all the interactions and learnings with players and staff I have had the good fortune of working so closely with. There are many respected friendships I will cherish for a lifetime. Finally, it has been a privilege to serve this great club in the small way I have, and it has been an honour to have been the head coach of Surrey for the last two years. To all the players, staff and Members, from the bottom of my heart, thank you!" he added.

He became Assistant Head Coach in the winter of 2017, with a brief more concentrated on working with the first team in support of Head Coach Michael Di Venuto. In this role he was pivotal as Surrey became County Champions for the first time in sixteen years in 2018.Following Di Venuto's departure at the end of the 2019 season, Solanki was appointed Head Coach of Surrey County Cricket Club.

Taking over during a period of great uncertainty at the start of the COVID-19 pandemic in the UK, Solanki guided Surrey to the final of the 2020 Vitality Blast with a squad including 16 Academy graduates. During his time at the helm, seven Surrey players have featured in England men's sides.

Director of Cricket Alec Stewart said: "Firstly I'd like to thank Vikram for all of his hard work during his time at Surrey. As a player and more recently a coach, he has had a very positive influence on the squad. His high standards, commitment and work ethic have been exemplary, which we have all greatly appreciated.

"He was making excellent progress in his role as Head Coach with the knowledge, structure, man management skills and dedication he brought to the job, which I know all of the players have greatly appreciated in helping them to become better cricketers," he added. (ANI)

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