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County Cricket

Richard Johnson leaves Middlesex to join Surrey as bowling coach

by Wisden Staff 2 minute read

Richard Johnson has swapped Middlesex for Surrey in signing a three-year contract as bowling coach in south London.

Johnson, the former Middlesex and England seamer, has been a bowling coach at Lord’s since 2011 and took over as interim head coach this season following the sacking of Richard Scott.

He applied for the full-time position at the season’s end but was beaten to the role by Stuart Law, and has since opted to switch his allegiance to London’s other major club, where Ryan Sidebottom and Alfonso Thomas had previously been working as bowling consultants.

Johnson, who won the Championship in 2016, joins the 2018 champions – working alongside head coach Michael Di Venuto and batting-focussed assistant head coach Vikram Solanki – at a time when their young talent is blossoming and forming a key part of England’s squads.

“Surrey are one of the biggest clubs in the country and proved their strength by winning the County Championship this year,” Johnson said.

“This is an excellent chance to be part of something exciting moving forward with a high quality group of players both senior and younger.”

Surrey director of cricket Alec Stewart said: “First of all, I would like to thank both Ryan Sidebottom and Alfonso Thomas for their excellent work with us last season. When I spoke with them they both understood our need for a full-time bowling coach.

“I’ve known Jono for a long time, having played Test cricket with him, and he has shown himself to be one of the very best bowling coaches in the game. I’m looking forward to seeing his expertise and qualities have a positive impact on our bowling group.”

Johnson, 43, played three Tests, 10 ODIs and averaged 28.58 with the ball in first-class cricket. His departure from Middlesex follows that of batting specialist Dave Houghton, who returns to Derbyshire as head of cricket, and Daniel Vettori, the former specialist T20 coach, meaning Law’s first task is to pull together the rest of his back-room team.

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