Former skipper Welch returns in a new role

Graeme Welch has been appointed as elite cricket performance director of Derbyshire County Cricket Club on a three-year-contract.

The 41-year-old has left his post as assistant coach/bowling coach at Warwickshire and has been installed at the head of Derbyshire’s new Elite Cricket Performance structure.

He takes over a young and ambitious Derbyshire squad, under the captaincy of Wayne Madsen and augmented by the experience of Shivnarine Chanderpaul as returning overseas player.

Welch returns to the County Ground with a reputation as one of the top upcoming coaches in England after enjoying success with Essex and Warwickshire.

He said: “My experiences with Essex and Warwickshire have been a fantastic grounding, allowing me to learn my trade as a coach.

“I’m thankful for those opportunities which have fuelled my ambition to work at the top of the coaching tree. The opportunity to do that back at Derbyshire, where I had my best years as a player, is perfect for me.

“The new Elite Cricket Performance structure shows the club’s ambition and I completely buy into their vision and share the desire for success.”

Chairman Chris Grant added: “It’s great news for Derbyshire that we’ve been able to attract one of the best up and coming coaches around as we strive towards our ambition for sustainable success on the field.

“The pedigree of what he has already achieved in county cricket is there for all to see and he thoroughly deserves this appointment.

“We strongly believe he is the man to lead the delivery of our Elite Cricket Performance structure and ultimately to bring success. “

He added: “With Graeme in position and a commitment made to a culture of elite performance, we’re all set for an exciting new era starting with the 2014 season.”

Welch’s Derbyshire playing career saw him capped in 2001, appointed captain in 2006 and bestowed a benefit year in 2007.

His coaching career began as bowling coach with Essex. A subsequent spell as bowling coach and assistant coach with Warwickshire brought a Clydesdale Bank 40 triumph in 2010 and the LV= County Championship First Division title in 2012.