Jon Lewis steps away from Durham role
by George DobellSenior correspondent at ESPNcricinfo · 4 months ago
A restructuring of the club's cricket operations has left no obvious role for a permanent head coach, and Lewis is understood to have declined the opportunity to apply for a new roleJon Lewis has left Durham following a restructuring of the club's cricket operations.Lewis, who had been head coach, joined the club as a player in 1997 and was appointed captain in 2000. As coach, he led the club to the County Championship title in 2013, the Royal London Cup in 2014 and to T20 Finals Day in 2016. He has also overseen a system that has helped produce the likes of Ben Stokes, Mark Wood, Mark Stoneman, Graham Onions, Scott Borthwick and Keaton Jennings in recent years.
The restructure - managed by director of cricket, Marcus North - left no obvious role for a permanent head coach, however, and Lewis is understood to have declined the opportunity to apply for a new role.
The new coaching structure will see a coach employed to run the Championship and List A side - a nine month a year role - while another coach - again in a part-time role - will run the T20 side. There will also be a batting consultant - available for around 120 days a year - and two full-time roles as bowling coach (which will be Neil Killeen) and an assistant coach or second XI coach, which will be Alan Walker. Jonathan Trott, who is recently retired as a player but appears to be in demand as a coach, has been linked to the batting consultancy position.
The club insist the changes are not forced upon them by budget issues, but instead designed to modernise the system and give themselves a better chance of employing coaches who might also be involved in the BBL or similar leagues.
Lewis could be forgiven for feeling a certain level of disgruntlement, though. Over the course of his tenure as coach, he has seen his playing budget slashed by around 50% and seen his side relegated - and handicapped - following the club's financial issues. He has had to cut his playing staff often, been unable to hold on to some of his best players (Jennings, Stoneman, Borthwick and Onions have all left) and never breathed a word of complaint about any of it.
He has already been linked to a couple of vacant positions at home and abroad - Yorkshire are among those currently recruiting - and leaves the club with a strong track record and good reputation.
"We wish Jon all the very best in the future and every success in his next career move," Durham's chief executive Tim Bostock said. "I would like to thank him for his hard work, dedication and outstanding commitment to Durham. Jon will always be welcome back here at Emirates Riverside."