Andre Nel
Andre Nel (AFP Photo)

Former South Africa pacer Andre Nel has been named as the assistant head coach and bowling coach of English county club Essex.

Nel, 41, will serve as a deputy to head coach Anthony McGrath having played for Essex between 2005 and 2008. He will replace Dmitri Mascarenhas who left following the end of his year-long contract.

“It’s a great opportunity and I’ve only ever heard good things about Anthony McGrath as a Coach, and I can’t wait to start working alongside him and the rest of the team out in Abu Dhabi this week,” Nel, who played 36 Tests, 79 ODIs and 2 T0Is during his seven-year international career, said on Monday.

He added, “As a former Essex player I know it’s a fantastic Club to be involved with and since leaving I’ve always followed from afar. I’m really eager to get working with such a talented group of players and contribute to the future success of the Club.”

Nel has had previous coaching experiences in South Africa as the head coach of Phantom for two seasons of Ram Slam T20 competition.

He later went on to join Easterns where he initially made his name. Since 2016, the right-arm pacer was associated with the South African National Cricket Academy as the assistant and bowling coach.

McGrath welcomed Nel’s appointment saying the South African brings with him immense wealth of experience.

“Andre played cricket at an elite level throughout his entire career and brings with him a huge wealth of cricket experience and knowledge. Being a former Essex player, he also has a good understanding of the Club, our fans and the ethos,” McGrath said.

He continued, “I know our bowlers are especially happy he’s on board and are looking forward to working with him, and the whole squad will profit from his technical and tactical knowledge.”