Nottinghamshire Assistant Coach Ant Botha has been named as a coaching consultant for England’s upcoming Ashes tour of Australia.
Botha joins the coaching group with a focus on batting, with the benefit of preparing England’s batters for the left-arm angle posed by the likes of Mitchell Starc. He will also spend time with the touring England Lions group.
“I’m really looking forward to getting stuck in, it’s a solid group of players and coaches and I’ll be able to soak a lot up,” Botha said.
“I’m coming from a slightly different angle from a tactical and technical point of view. A lot of the sessions that I will be involved with will be challenging and tough, they will be full on and I'll be bowling quickly, but that’s a nice platform to make a difference.
“I have to be aware of how I talk to players from a technical standpoint, because they are at the top of their game, but there are things you do see, and once you build trust you can go from there. It seems they enjoy having me around and that is nice, and I have the autonomy to go about coaching in my style."
The 44-year-old’s coaching journey started in Adelaide, South Australia, before returning to the county game with Derbyshire and arriving at Trent Bridge towards the end of 2016.
Under his charge, Nottinghamshire’s Second XI progressed to T20 Finals Day in 2019, with players including Liam Patterson-White, Joey Evison, Lyndon James and Matthew Carter making the transition into the first team.
During the past two seasons, Botha has been deployed more within the first team setup, working extensively with the club’s batters and spin bowlers in particular.
“I’m learning all the time, I am still a young coach,” Botha continued. “There are certainly things I will pick up during my time on this tour.
“Often in that environment it can be tough if you haven’t played international cricket but I have got my own journey and I can pass that on. I've also been fortunate to work with some great coaches at Notts, including Pete [Moores], and I have greatly developed from working with him and learning how he goes about his leadership.
“I will try and keep the enthusiasm and energy high, and generally do the best I can all the time. Everyone is aware that this is going to be a tough series but that is exciting because there are tremendous players within the group.”
Botha joins Stuart Broad and Haseeb Hameed as Nottinghamshire representatives Down Under, with the Test series beginning on 8 December in Brisbane. Preparations for the encounter will be led by Graham Thorpe until the arrival of Chris SIlverwood from the T20 World Cup.
The playing group and management will be based on the Gold Coast for their 14-day quarantine period before moving to Brisbane to play two intra-squad warm-up matches later this month.
"The coaching team selected has an excellent blend of credentials grounded in experiences through the England pathway and the wider county game," said Mo Bobat, ECB Performance Director.
"In addition to the specialist expertise, we have individuals in our coaching team that have experienced success in Australian conditions, which will benefit the players' preparation ahead of the Ashes and Lions competitive experiences.
"For the period up until the end of the warm-up matches, the coaching team will assist both groups of players. However, once we start the final build-up to the first Ashes Test, we will then split into two distinct groups with the Lions preparing for their four-day match against Australia A on 9 December."
England Men's Coaching Team – Ashes Tour
Head Coach: Chris Silverwood
Assistant Coaches: Paul Collingwood, Graham Thorpe
Elite Pace Bowling: Jon Lewis
Elite Spin Bowling: Jeetan Patel
Wicketkeeping Consultant: James Foster
England support and Lions Coaching Team – Australia Tour
Elite Fielding Coach: Carl Hopkinson
Batting Consultant: Jonathan Trott
Wicketkeeping Consultant: Bruce French
Coaching Consultant: Ant Botha
Spin Bowling Consultant: Min Patel
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