December 3, 2019 / 11:58 PM / 11 days ago

Cricket-NZ spinner Patel links with England team as coach

WELLINGTON, Dec 4 (Reuters) - Former New Zealand off-spinner Jeetan Patel has been appointed on a short-term coaching contract for the England cricket team for their tours of South Africa and Sri Lanka.

The 39-year-old Patel has retired from his almost two-decade first-class career with Wellington in New Zealand to take up the spin bowling consultant role with the England team.

He had been working with the England side during last month’s Twenty20 series against New Zealand.

“The opportunity to take up a role with England is one that doesn’t come around often and one I simply can’t turn down,” Patel said in statement on Wednesday.

“I’ve been hugely privileged to be able to represent Wellington for almost 20 years.

“I’m so fortunate to be able to come back and play year-on-year and see this group grow, this environment I’m leaving is in great shape to be able to help these guys do that.”

Patel made more than 300 appearances across all formats with Wellington and also carved out a successful career with Warwickshire in England.

He made his one-day international debut in 2005 against Zimbabwe and his test debut against South Africa the following year.

Patel took 65 wickets in 24 tests, the last of which was against South Africa in March 2017.

He will play his last game for Wellington in New Zealand’s domestic Twenty20 competition on Dec. 18 before joining the England squad ahead of their first test against South Africa at Centurion that starts on Dec. 26.

England tour Sri Lanka next March.

Patel has one year left on his contract with Warwickshire.

Reporting by Greg Stutchbury; Editing by Lincoln Feast.

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