Richard Bedbrook, the Regional Director of Women’s Cricket for South East Stars, is to leave Surrey CCC to become Head of England Women’s Performance Pathways.
Bedbrook has been at the Club in a full-time capacity for eighteen of the last nineteen years, working at an elite level in both the women’s and men’s games.
Initially joining the club as Assistant Manager of the Surrey Cricket Centre in 2003, Bedbrook spent time working as a Community Coach and within the County Age Group programme before spending a year with the ICC as European Development Officer. Returning to the club in 2008 as Performance Manager in the Surrey Men’s Academy, Bedbrook helped oversee the early stages of the careers of many male players who now represent Surrey, including Matthew Dunn, Sam and Tom Curran, Ollie Pope, Ryan Patel, Amar Virdi and Jamie Smith, amongst others.
When the Kia Super League was established in 2016, Bedbrook was seconded to work on the Women’s game and played a vital role in establishing the Surrey Stars as one of the leading women’s teams in the country. During this time, he worked with players such as the world’s number one all-rounder, Natalie Sciver, Tammy Beaumont, Sophia Dunkley and Mady Villiers, helping them establish themselves as international stars.
In 2017, Bedbrook was appointed as the Club’s first ever full-time Women’s Head Coach. In this role he led all aspects of women’s cricket at the Club, including the establishment of an elite player pathway from County Age Group squads to the Surrey Stars. This work was crucial to the subsequent development of a new generation of international players from the Club’s Academy.
Bedbrook went on to coach the Surrey Stars to the Kia Super League title in 2018, Surrey lifting the trophy after a memorable Finals Day at Hove culminated in a decisive win over Loughborough Lightning.
When the KSL was discontinued in 2019, Bedbrook commenced his current role as Regional Director of Women’s Cricket. In this position he has overall responsibility for the South East Stars, one of eight regional teams in the ECB’s new national structure.
In this position, Bedbrook was responsible for handing out some of the first ever professional contracts for domestic women’s players in England, hugely aiding the development of new Surrey stars such as Alice Capsey, Bryony Smith, Dani Gregory and recently appointed Surrey Club Captain Aylish Cranstone, as well as assisting in the career journeys of both Sophia Dunkley and Tash Farrant, who have both received an England Women’s central contract since signing initial regional professional contracts with the South East Stars.
In 2021, Bedbrook played a key role in the establishment of the successful women’s Oval Invincibles team, who lifted the maiden women’s trophy in The Hundred, with a squad that reunited many of his successful Surrey Stars players from the KSL as well as an alignment of staff from the South East Stars and Surrey Women.
His new role will see him providing leadership and oversight to the England U-19 and England Women’s A programmes as well as working closely with staff within the Regional set-ups to ensure a consistent pathway of young talent is challenging for selection into the Women’s Test and white ball teams.
Speaking this week, Bedbrook said: “I first made my way to the Oval as a 17 year old to watch Men’s Test cricket and little did I know then how my connection to the club would progress from there. With my early foray into the game as a coach when I joined the club 19 years ago, I am truly thankful for all the experiences and memories I have gained and am very proud of the roles I have had and how those have impacted on a number of players across both the Women’s and Men’s game.
I leave knowing the Women’s game is in a hugely exciting position and am also proud at how the standing of the Women’s game has shifted at the club over recent years with the support it now receives.
I send best wishes to all my colleagues here at the South East Stars, at Surrey CCC and across the London & South East region for their continued hard work in developing the Women’s game and I am very much looking forward to my new role with the ECB and to making an impact on the International game.”
Surrey CCC Chief Executive, Steve Elworthy, added: “Although I have only worked with Richard for a short time, he has hugely impressed me with his intelligence, commitment, and passion for the game. Clearly over the years, his record of delivery in both the men’s and women’s games speaks for itself.
“He is one of the most exciting young coaches in the country and whilst Surrey’s considerable loss will very much be England’s gain, we hope to still see him at The Kia Oval on a regular basis!”.
Bedbrook will start his role with the ECB in late June 2022, following the completion of the Charlotte Edwards Cup.