Graeme Welch is back at Edgbaston working with Warwickshire's bowlers after the ECB accepted his request to cut short his stint as consultant to England's seamers on their tour of India.
The Bears’ bowling coach was with England for the last two Tests in India and was due to remain for the T20s and ODIs.
But that meant he would have returned to Edgbaston with only a week to work with the bowlers ahead of the season starting in April 8. On reflection, Welch felt that he wanted to be with the Bears for longer than that in the run-up to the season.
“It was a great experience in India, but I just wanted to get back to Edgbaston and get my teeth into the pre-season preparation. We have got a new first-team coach and it is a really exciting time for the squad and I didn’t want to be away from it at a very important time.Graeme Welch
“India was amazing and I am very grateful to the ECB for the opportunity. It is always brilliant to work with the top players and coaches and watching Jimmy Anderson and Stuart Broad bowl was just a privilege. The pace, the accuracy, the skill – it was an education to see two of the greatest ever bowlers in action.
“It was also a great experience to see the India fans – how much they love their cricket and how they smiled and waved at us just to see the team coach go by. It was an amazing experience, but strange too, of course. It is a very different experience at any time and in a bubble even more so. I really admire the England guys who have been travelling and spending time in bubbles for most of the winter.”
Welch is now fully back among the Warwickshire group in Birmingham, but was not short of Bears company in India with Dom Sibley and Olly Stone in the squad and Jeetan Patel and Jonathan Trott also among the coaches.
Stone was one of the pacemen under Welch’s guidance and the former Northants man appears ready to fully graduate into Test cricket, reckons Welch.
“Olly has moved to the next level. He bowled well in the one Test match he played and was unlucky not to play more. In training he is looking the real deal. He bowled with real pace and made it all look effortless – the best I’ve ever seen him.Graeme Welch
“It was good to see Trotty and Jeets making a really good impression too. I am delighted that Jeets has got the England job. He is right at the start of his coaching career so has a lot to learn but I am sure he will do really well.
“I was very impressed by Trotty’s work ethic and knowledge. He has done a lot of tours now with the Lions and Test team and is building his knowledge all the time. He is very keen to learn and is going to be an exceptional coach.”