SA spin coach snapped up by CWC holders England

Claude Henderson poses for a portrait during the England ODI squad photo call in Southampton on 24 July 2020.
Claude Henderson poses for a portrait during the England ODI squad photo call in Southampton on 24 July 2020.
Stu Forster/Getty Images
  • Spin guru Henderson was part of the England coaching team which oversaw the just-completed home ODI series against Ireland.
  • Paul Collingwood had the main reins, with another prominent former international Marcus Trescothick in charge of batting needs.
  • Henderson's rich knowledge of English conditions through his Leicestershire days would have aided his appointment. 


Claude Henderson was one of the support-staff casualties when Ottis Gibson’s tenure as Proteas head coach ended in 2019 ... but he has quickly found a high-profile new role with England.

The now 48-year-old former Bolander, who played seven Tests and four one-day internationals for South Africa between 2001 and 2002, joined the World Cup holders as ODI spin coach for their short series against near-neighbours Ireland which ended earlier this week.

In a media release by the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB), performance director Mo Bobat had said about their Paul Collingwood-headed coaching plans for the three-match Ireland series:

“Paul’s coaching team has an exciting feel to it with a number of the coaches possessing rich international experience.

“Marcus Trescothick (batting) spent time with our England white-ball squads during the winter and Jon Lewis brings with him World Cup experience from his stint as Sri Lanka’s batting coach.

“Similarly, Claude Henderson has recently worked with the South African national team and brings real spin bowling expertise.  From a pace bowling perspective, our players will be in safe hands with both Jon Lewis and Neil Killeen, who over the years have fulfilled a number of important roles within our international pathway.”

England, in their first ODI activity since sharing the spoils 1-1 (one no-result) with the Proteas on their full tour here last summer, won the Irish series 2-1 with a weakened squad due to their conflicting Test obligations, only being upset in the dead-rubber third encounter.

Although the coaching panel was specifically named for the Irish series, Sport24 has approached the ECB over whether Henderson’s role may be ongoing.

Henderson was part of the vigorous “clean-out” by Cricket South Africa after the country’s near-dismal CWC 2019, with the exit of Gibson also including back-up staff like immediate assistant

Malibongwe Maketa and batting coach Dale Benkenstein.

But he has clearly been reinventing himself in a coaching capacity more recently, helped by his long association with and familiarity to the English game.

The left-arm spinner represented Leicestershire at county level for a marathon period between 2004 and 2013, including playing a key role in the Foxes winning the main English Twenty20 title in 2011.

He became the first registered Kolpak player when he joined the county, triggering a flood of fellow-South Africans who entered the arena using that route.

*Follow our chief writer on Twitter: @RobHouwing

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