When it comes to home-grown Sussex success stories, they don’t come much more successful than James Kirtley.
Eastbourne-born and a product of the county’s youth programme, James went on to win three County Championships, three one-day trophies and a twenty20 cup with Sussex, taking 980 wickets in the process.
Seven years after his retirement from professional cricket, the 43-year-old is now using his wealth of experience to help develop the next generation of home-grown Sussex bowlers.
Alongside his full-time role at Bede’s School, James has been working with our Elite Development Group (EDG) for the past three years.
Assistant Head Coach, Jon Lewis’ time abroad with the England set-up this winter has also given James the opportunity to work more closely with the bowlers from the boys’ Academy as they continue on the pathway towards becoming professional cricketers themselves.
James is very optimistic about the current crop of young seamers at the club, citing the variety they offer and the rapid progress they are making.
Beyond the technical side of fast bowling, James sees producing “tough cricketers” who are well-prepared for the demands of the professional game as a key part of his role.
If they go on to follow in James' footsteps, ending up as key members of the Sussex bowling attack and competing for international honours with England, then he’ll have done his job.
Watch the interview above to find out more about the work James is doing at Sussex, as well his views on the direction the club is taking.