Gloucestershire Cricket has confirmed the appointment of Dale Benkenstein as the club's new head coach.
The 47-year-old South African, who has previously coached internationally with the Proteas, joins The Shire on a three-year deal that will see him lead the club's coaching department until at least the end of the 2024 season.
Benkenstein, a former Durham captain, made his name as a coach at Hampshire between 2014 and 2016 when he led the side to two Vitality Blast Finals Days and secured promotion back to the top tier of the County Championship.
He has also coached at South African side Dolphins and has most recently served as Head Coach at Mike Procter's former school Hilton College in his home country, where he is credited with coaching a number of talented young cricketers into the professional game.
Speaking of his pride at being appointed Head Coach at Gloucestershire, Benkenstein said: "I am grateful to have been given the opportunity to be the Head Coach of Gloucestershire Cricket. I am looking forward to working with a well-balanced squad of youth and experience and I feel the club as a whole have the ingredients to be consistently successful in all formats."
"It is exciting to be back involved in English County Cricket where I have many fond memories," he added.
During a long and successful playing career spanning 20 years, Benkenstein made 300 List A and 264 first-class appearances, racking up more than 15,000 first-class runs and close to 10,000 limited-overs runs.
Born in Zimbabwe, Benkenstein started his career at Natal, in South Africa, and after being named captain at the age of just 22, led the side to both a four-day and a one-day domestic title. That success earned him international recognition and in 1998/99, Benkenstein made his senior ODI debut for South Africa against England and went on to play in a further 22 matches for his country.
Aged 29, Benkenstein signed for Durham in 2005 and skippered the side to their first major trophy in 2007, when his team defeated Shane Warne's Hampshire in the final of the Friends Provident competition.
In the two years that followed, Benkenstein captained Durham to successive County Championship titles in 2008 and 2009, the first in the club's history. Since making his debut for Durham he scored more than 9,000 first-class runs at an average of 45.9 for the club. (ANI)