Ben Phillips returns to Taunton as fast-bowling coach

Ben Philips2Former Somerset pace bowler Ben Phillips is to return to the County Ground as a specialist fast bowling coach.

Ben, who played for Somerset for three seasons from 2008 and 2010, will work with young fast bowlers at the Academy and the Somerset Cricket Board’s Emerging Player Programme as well as with the County Age Group teams.

The creation of this new post comes from a review carried out by Andy Hurry into the Academy over the past few months and is the first appointment to the coaching set-up since Matt Maynard was appointed Director of Cricket earlier this month.

During his time at Somerset Ben took 62 first-class wickets and scored three half-centuries with a top score of 84.

He was especially valuable in limited overs cricket, taking 48 wickets in List A games and claiming 29 T20 wickets, appearing for Somerset in the Champions League in India in 2009.

After appearing in the CB40 Final at Lord’s for Somerset in September 2010, he finished his career at Nottinghamshire where he played until 2013.

Ben PhilipsOriginally from Kent, where he made his first class debut in 1996, Ben also played for Northamptonshire before moving to Somerset in 2007.

During his career Ben played a total of 124 first class matches in which he scored almost 3,000 runs at an average of 21.30 and took 271 wickets at 30, with a best of 6 for 29.

In addition he played in 137 List A matches in which he claimed 153 wickets at 30.21 and made 63 T20 appearances taking 62 wickets at 27.79.

Speaking about the prospect of a return to Taunton, Ben said: “I am really thrilled to have been appointed to this post. I have got very fond memories of my playing days with Somerset and it’s great to bet back involved with the club.

“When you retire you want to keep involved with the first class game and to have the chance to work with the future stars at Somerset is a huge honour for me and I feel really privileged to be working alongside the other coaches at the County Ground.”

Ben added: “This is a great opportunity for me and I am really thrilled and can’t wait to get started.”

Andy Hurry, Somerset’s outgoing Director of High Performance said: “We are very excited to be able to announce the appointment of Ben Phillips who will work jointly with both the Academy fast bowlers as well as the Somerset Cricket Board’s Emerging Player Programme and Age Group teams,

“Having reviewed the Academy over the last few months we felt that a specialist fast bowling coach was of paramount importance to the players going forward.

“Ben has a great understanding of the philosophy of the club having played for Somerset and after finishing in the first-class game he has been away and developed himself into a coach and we are very much looking forward to him working alongside us in the Academy programme, in conjunction with Somerset Cricket Board.”

Andy Fairbairn the SCB Cricket Development Manager said: “We are delighted to welcome Ben into our coaching set up. Ben will work closely with Richard Ellison, who will continue his vital role as a bowling specialist, to develop young bowlers in Somerset. For our players to have two coaches of Richard’s and Ben’s calibre is wonderful news and we can’t wait for the winter coaching to commence.”