02 Jan

Northamptonshire allrounder Gareth Berg has been named as the new head coach of Italy’s national side. The 39-year-old, who will continue to represent his county in the 2021 season, has been involved with Italian cricket since 2012, with his eligibility stemming from his mother’s side of his family. 

He was part of the Italian side that took part in the 2013 ICC World T20 Qualifiers in the UAE, and will also remain available for international selection as a player despite taking on the off-field role. 

Berg, who was born in Cape Town but has also played county cricket for Middlesex and Hampshire, will be joined by former Sydney Thunder allrounder Carl Sandri, who similarly played for Italy during his own playing career. Sandri has been appointed as the nation’s senior high-performance coach. 

In a press release Berg said “I’m very honoured to have been appointed in my new role and excited to get going. Initially I was thinking about just being a part of the Italian coaching set up, but this opportunity as head coach came up and I decided to put myself forward. I think I’m the right person to take the team forward. 

“I have a number of years behind me as a professional now and a good group of players at my disposal. They’re seriously good players and not just from Italy itself, there’s many with Italian passports from all over the world.” 

He added: “There’s a wide variety of competitions out there now, including the ECL (European Cricket League), which has taken off. Italian cricket is on the up, but it isn’t just us, there other countries like Germany and Jersey who are benefiting from the extra funding coming in now too. 

“My commitment to county cricket and Northamptonshire is first and foremost, it always has been about county cricket for me. I’m not getting any younger though so there’s always an eye on what’s ahead for me in the future and hopefully this will be part of that.” 

Italy – through Federazione Cricket Italiana (FCI) – has been an associate member of the ICC since 1995, having previously been an affiliate member from 1984. 

The Azzuri will travel to Finland in July to take on Group A of the European T20 World Cup qualifiers. Success would see the team advance to the European final, played in Spain in October, where they would face Jersey and the other group winners for a place in the global qualifier. The Italian squad will also travel to Jersey in September for the second leg of CWC Challenge League B. Italy are currently third in their group, following two wins during the first leg in Oman in December 2019. 

John Stephenson 


#Cricketnews #FCI #ECL

* The email will not be published on the website.