Wales National County Head Coach Darren Thomas will embark on his tenth season at the helm after extending his contract for another year until the end of the 2022 season. The former Glamorgan and England A all rounder has led Wales since 2012, occupying the role of Player-Coach for five years before hanging up the boots in 2017.
With a cancelled 2020 season (due to COVID-19) allowing the National County operations to be overseen by Cricket Wales, Thomas (an ECB Level IV coach) guided Wales to one of their more successful seasons in history during 2021. The side topped their one day group before bowing out to eventual champions Berkshire at the semi-final stage – a first appearance since 1996 – and recorded a memorable victory over Glamorgan in the inaugural showcase game at Sophia Gardens in July; acknowledged by Michael Hogan to be catalyst for Glamorgan’s historic Royal London Cup campaign.
Under Thomas’ leadership Sam Pearce, Steven Reingold and Andy Gorvin all made their professional debuts for Glamorgan in 2021, whilst the likes of Prem Sissodiya, Owen Morgan, Connor Brown, Lukas Carey, Kieran Bull, Callum Taylor and Ruaidhri Smith have all benefitted from past experiences within the Wales setup.
On committing to the 2022 season Thomas said, “it’s a pleasure and very exciting to coach Wales National County again next season. The squad of players have been superb to work with this summer, with an excellent blend of youth and experience. To reach the semi finals in the one day cup is a step in the right direction for this squad, and we will push hard to better this next year.
The core of the team are maturing as cricketers together, which is very exciting to witness as a coach. My responsibility is to make the environment organised, focused and relaxed so the players can go onto the field and express their talents. This season the players have understood and adapted to their roles, they enjoy each others success and are close friends off the pitch which has created a brilliant team culture.
Sam Pearce has embraced the challenge of captaincy and led the one day group outstandingly well. It will be great to see what the 2022 season holds and speaking on behalf of everyone associated with Wales NC, we are really looking forward to it.”
Head of Talent Pathway for Cricket Wales Matt Thompson commented, “we are delighted that Darren has decided to continue with the team for next season. He’s an integral part of what we’re trying to build since the merging of the national county to Cricket Wales, and we’ve seen in a short space of time just how much value he adds. His knowledge and experience from a playing and coaching perspective is second to none and we’re all keen to ensure he’s the one that helps the lads win that elusive first trophy.”