Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Why I Walked out on Surrey; Not Even Seven Trophies in Six Years Could Keep Keith Medlycott at the Oval. He Explains All to Wayne Veysey

Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Why I Walked out on Surrey; Not Even Seven Trophies in Six Years Could Keep Keith Medlycott at the Oval. He Explains All to Wayne Veysey

Article excerpt

Byline: WAYNE VEYSEY

KEITH MEDLYCOTT has revealed that he might have stayed on as Surrey coach next year if Adam Hollioake had remained as captain. But Medlycott, who surprisingly quit the post last week after steering Surrey to seven trophies in six years, said he had no regrets about leaving "probably the biggest club in world cricket".

In his first major interview since resigning, the 38-year-old said he felt he had achieved all he could at The Oval and now was the right time to further his ambitions, possibly in the international arena.

However, Medlycott admitted Hollioake's decision to stand down as skipper had been a major factor in him leaving Surrey with a year remaining on his contract.

"Captain and coach is a partnership," he said. "It's so important if you can work well together. If Adam was still captain I might have stayed longer."

Medlycott is full of praise for Hollioake, who is retiring at the end of next season. "He has been the most natural born leader I have ever played or worked with," Medlycott said.

"I found him up front, honest, forthright and totally open, often excessively so, which is rare in professional sport. He threw in so many ideas and was so forward-thinking that sometimes he needed someone to rein him in.

"For Surrey it's an opportunity for a fresh start with a new captain and new coach. They've still got a highquality squad full of internationals where there is the right environment and the players are used to success."

The decision to appoint Jon Batty as Hollioake's successor was not unanimously applauded in the dressing room.

Senior players, such as Alastair Brown, Ian Salisbury, Martin Bicknell and Mark Ramprakash, were felt to have better credentials while Batty will have the added pressures of combining the captaincy with opening the batting and keeping wicket.

Medlycott, who opted for Batty when the cricket committee cast their vote, believes the 29-year-old is a natural choice, even though he only became a first-choice player last season.

"I personally think he has qualities that will stand him in good stead. He has integrity and he handles himself well, qualities I like," Medlycott said.

"A lot of people make a lot of fuss about captains but the squad has a lot of high-quality players who know their job."

Speaking at his semidetached home in a secluded mews in Hersham, Surrey, where he lives with his wife and five-year-old son, Medlycott doesn't have the air of a man who is sitting by the telephone waiting for the job offers to come rolling in.

Although he admits to not having any work lined up - "apart from a small sideline in property business" - he is chirpy, upbeat and relaxed.

Sipping coffee and with one eye on the TV showing the England-Sri Lanka Test, Medlycott is taking his family on holiday on Boxing Day and then looking forward to sorting out his future. …

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