Lancashire cricket director Mike Watkinson has left his post following the county’s relegation to Division Two – as the club prepare to announce Ashley Giles as his replacement.
Watkinson leaves the Red Rose having spent 32 years with the club as a player, captain, cricket manager and, most recently, as cricket director.
The former all-rounder helped lead Lancashire to their first County Championship title in 77 years in 2011, but his tenure ended on a low note as the side made an immediate return to Division Two.
The 53-year-old took on his most recent role of cricket director in 2008 and is now looking forward to a new challenge after his long association with the club.
“After enjoying a long and successful career at Lancashire County Cricket Club, I am now looking forward to a new challenge,” said Watkinson.
“I would like to wish all the players and staff at Lancashire all the best for the future.”
The Lancashire stalwart leaves the club having scored nearly 15,000 runs, taking more than 1,000 wickets.
And Lancashire County Cricket Club’s chairman, Michael Cairns OBE, was quick to praise Watkinson for his contribution.
“I would like to place on record our sincere gratitude to Mike Watkinson for his long-term service of Lancashire County Cricket Club as player, captain, cricket manager and cricket director,” he said.
“On behalf of everybody connected with LCCC I would like to wish Mike well with his future endeavours.”
Watkinson was an assistant coach on three England tours during Duncan Fletcher’s spell in charge of the national team.
Former England limited overs head coach Ashley Giles is now favourite to take the newly-vacant role having led Warwickshire to the County Championship title in 2012.
Giles spent his entire 14-year first-class career at Warwickshire as well as playing 54 Test matches and 62 One Day internationals for England.
The future of club captain Glen Chapple, 40, is in doubt though as he considers whether or not to retire and pursue a full-time career in coaching.
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