Q&A: Vancouver Knights Head Coach Donovan Miller – “Canadian Players Producing Match Winning Performances In This Tournament Will Be Good Not Just For Franchise Cricket In Canada But World Cricket In Finding New Talent In These Countries.”
By Colin Benjamin
Vancouver Knights for the inaugural edition of Global T20 Canada has an intriguing coaching set up led Essex County cricket club duo Donovan Miller as Head Coach and his assistant former England wicket-keeper, James Foster.
While the other Franchise team coaches such as Phil Simmons (Toronto Nationals), Waqar Younis (Winnipeg Hawks), Tom Moody (Montreal Tigers), Mohammad Akram (Edmonton Royals) are known former international players, Miller has worked his way up the coaching ranks in England and the Caribbean.
Miller spoke to GT20.ca in a wide ranging discussion about himself, the new position and his vision for Vancouver Knight in GlobalT20 Canada.
GT20.ca: What convinced you to join league as Vancouver Knights Head Coach?
Donovan Miller: “I saw the advert and talks about league and thought it would be a great opportunity in a great city. My representatives reached out to tournament organizers and here we are.”
GT20.ca: Describe your coaching background?
DM: “I’m only 39 years old but I’ve been coaching for a very long time. I made a lot of coaching sacrifices due to my kids, got my ECB Level 3 coach license in 2007 and Level the 4 in 2015. Throughout this journey of getting these levels and being around the county cricket coaching circuit – I got my break dealing with professional teams when Chris Silverwood (current England fast bowling coach) asked me help him out with Essex.
This was exciting because he was also new to head a coach role there and I was learning and developing at same time. Before that I got the opportunity to experience the IPL in 2012, was bowling coach of Jamaica Tallawah’s when they won CPL in 2016 and more recently was assistant coach in in the World XI for Hurricane relief game under Andy Flower.”
GT20.ca How did you end up coaching St Kitts & Nevis Patriots in the Caribbean Premier League?
DM: “St Kitts & Nevis is a lovely island, they haven’t been that successful in recent years getting to play offs – so it’s a challenge compared to other CPL teams that I was greatly looking forward. Plus following in footsteps of coach Phil Simmons who I’ve greatly admired for a long time was a major factor.
GT20.ca: What were you doing between 2008-2015 coaching wise due the family sacrifices that you mentioned?
DM: “I set up a cricket academy for kids in east London, who don’t have access or push to get into cricket. In academy I try to get them fixtures against county second XI teams, while coaching at clubs and county cricket age group cricket. Also I’ve played semi pro cricket on weekends for Essex second XI, Hertfordshire minor county and Derby second XI.
Recently I was very honoured to be involved in England vs Pakistan test preparation, once again I got to praise and thanks Chris Silverwood for that opportunity.”
GT20.ca: What is your coaching philosophy and aims for tournament?
DM: “I’m a very flexible guy, like to have a lot of fun. We (Vancouver Knights) have good squad mix of experience and Canadian players. Picking them was quite easy because I knew type of player profile I wanted that matched up with feedback from people in Canada cricket fraternity that knew them. Canadian players producing match winning performances in this tournament will be good not just for franchise cricket in Canada but world cricket in finding new talent in these countries.”
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Global T20 Canada
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