Matt Mason is "really excited" to be joining Warwickshire and starting his work with the "beautiful blend of experience and exciting young talent" in the bowling group at Edgbaston.
Mason will succeed Graeme Welch as Bears bowling coach and can’t wait to return to a West Midlands patch he knows intimately, having spent 17 years as player and coach at Worcestershire.
He will arrive in Birmingham in April at the end of the season in Australia where he is currently bowling coach/assistant coach of Western Australia and Perth Scorchers as they challenge for a treble.
He has loved working for his native state and city and helping the Scorchers lift the Big Bash title, but the lure of joining Warwickshire, and returning to county cricket where he has spent most of his professional life, was too great to resist.
“I have spent a lot of time in the Midlands and it feels very much like home,” said the 47-year-old. “As a family we are all really looking forward to getting back to the UK. I’m a big fan of county cricket, having been part of it for so long, and am really excited by the prospect joining Warwickshire.
“I’ve always had a lot of respect for the club, its players and culture. As shown by winning two trophies last season, it continues to be a powerful force in domestic cricket and I’m really looking forward to hopefully having an impact.Matt Mason
“It’s clear from talking to Paul Farbrace that he’s wants some really strong growth in the white ball formats and that’s an area where I’ve enjoyed some success in the BBL with the Scorchers. I spend a huge amount of my time in and around white ball cricket, both T20 and 50-over, so I’m hoping my experience will rub off on the guys.
“Warwickshire’s bowling unit has a beautiful blend of experience and exciting young talent coming through, Liam Norwell and Craig Miles are guys I have admired since their Gloucestershire days so it will be great to work with them. I am a massive Chris Woakes fan and also Olly Stone. Olly has had his injuries but I’m really looking forward to the chance to sit down and try and help him.
“Then there are the Brookes brothers and the likes of Manraj Johal and George Garrett coming through. There is a huge array of talent and, as a bowling coach, that’s really exciting. I’m just looking forward to getting to know all the guys and seeing where I can help them.”
After all those seasons at Worcester, Mason is no stranger to Edgbaston, but he is a stranger to the home dressing-room there. So will it be a strange feeling to suddenly be a Bear after almost two decades as a Pear?
“Worcester will always hold a special place in my heart,” he said. “It was the only club I played for in England so, of course, it’s special for me, but this is a fantastic opportunity to be part of another great club.
“What I love about coaching is getting to a new place and making new relationships and becoming part of a new club. Edgbaston is a fantastic venue and to think that will be my office every day is really exciting. It won’t feel too strange…I just can’t wait to get started.
“I’m going to finish the season here in Australia first. We could still potentially win all three trophies and it is important for me to finish the season…I don’t ever like leaving anything unfinished. Farby has been awesome, giving me that flexibility. Then my full focus will be on Warwickshire. I think, as a coach, you’ve got to spend time around the club in the close season because the winter is when you have time to do your some of best work.
“There might be scope to do other things, but it is an all-encompassing role, 12 months of the year. If the opportunity came up to do the Big Bash again, I’d absolutely love to do it because it’s a fantastic competition and winning this year was awesome, but at this stage it’s all about settling in at Warwickshire and getting to know everybody, not just the players but the staff.
“It is a job which really excites me and one of the big drives about our return as a family was to be among close friends and family again. England is where we belong and, to be honest, I just can’t wait to get back there and get cracking at Edgbaston.”
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