Club Cricket Conference

Thursday, 21st June 2018

Min Patel can look back on his CCC coaching years with pride

By Charles Randall

30 January 2017

The former England left-arm spinner Min Patel has stood down as the Club Cricket Conference's coach after eight years to take on a full-time  role with Kent, the county where he spent his professional career.

Patel, 46, used his expertise and experience to serve the CCC with distinction, coaching and mentoring the Conference's representative XI in a full programme of matches each summer. Other duties included foreign tours and six years of judging the annual spin-bowling scholarship awards to the Global Cricket School in Mumbai, his city of birth.

Simon Prodger, the CCC cricket chairman, described Patel's years with the Conference as "hugely important" and paid tribute to the quality of his work. "As an England cricketer and former pro, Min increased our credibility in the cricket community and improved standards for our representative sides," he said. "He is well liked and respected on the professional circuit, and this has helped position us favourably in cricket generally. He is also the best one-to-one coach I have seen."

Robbie Book, the CCC chairman, said: "We are sad to see Min leave, but he is enhancing his career and he will do very well at Kent. We wish him every success."

Prodger added: "Thanks to Min, the CCC are drawing players from more clubs than ever before and we have built a strong fixture list among county 2nd XIs to give club players a chance to perform at a high level often against contracted county players. In these games it is very tough for club cricketers, and Min has been the ideal coach because, apart from technique, he helps with the mental aspect and the psychology of matches."

During his time Patel accompanied CCC tours to Australia twice, Oman, Italy, Denmark and the West Indies. This winter he was invited to assist with coaching the Kenya national side.

Patel's club career started at Blackheath CC as a very accurate left-arm spinner. After leaving Dartford GS he was selected by NCA Young Cricketers for their annual one-day game against Combined Services at Lord's. Patel and John Crawley, who scored a century, were the only players from that game to progress to international level,  though it was hard work and sheer weight of wickets for Kent that took him to the top seven years after his first class debut.

Patel's  enthusiasm for the game meant that he continued in club cricket as player and coach with Bexley CC after his Kent career ended at a time when the ECB were experimenting with two-day Premier League matches. He had one season with Tunbridge Wells CC and three at Hartley Country Club CC.

Both his England appearances were against India, deputising for Phil Tufnell under Mike Atherton's captaincy in 1996. He was given a few token overs on a seaming pitch in a victory at Edgbaston and he toiled  on a bland Trent Bridge pitch where England replied with 564 after India's 521. Patel and Anil Kumble took one wicket each in the match, and that was Patel's career - the wicket of Manjrekar and two catches.

Injury meant Patel ensured almost the entire season the following year, ending his England aspirations. Now he has joined Kent with the chance of developing players for the future, but he will be available to continue his work on this year's spin scholarship trials, which will be held at the Leicester county ground on 17 September.