Former Glamorgan captain and Bermuda International David Hemp has been revealed as the Commonwealth Bank VicSpirit’s new head coach.
Hemp’s appointment came just 15 days after he represented his native Bermuda in the ICC Americas Region Division One Twenty20 in the United States, where he smashed 72 not out from 57 balls against Suriname.
Now, the 44-year-old is focused on the task ahead, taking the reins of the VicSpirit – who fell short in both the Women’s National Cricket League and Women’s T20 domestic finals in 2014-15 – as well as one of the two Melbourne-based Women’s Big Bash League squads.
Hemps bats for Bermuda in 2009 // Getty Images
“I just think with any new coaching venture you are excited, working with a new team and new people and the exciting thing is the challenge to try and find out where you can take individuals and develop their potential,” Hemp told cricket.com.au.
“I understand they just fell short (last season), so the first port of call is to sit down one-to-one and carry out some discussions and group discussions to find out where the players and coaches think we are and what we need to do to take it to the next level.”
Hemp, who played three World Cup matches for Bermuda and was on the field when teammate Dwayne Leverock took one of cricket’s most memorable catches in 2007, also spent 17 years playing county cricket in England.
Dwayne Leverock's classic World Cup grab // Getty Images
He moved to Australia after his full-time playing career ended, and credited his VicSpirit appointment to recent mentoring roles with Prahran Cricket Club, Scotch College and as head coach of the Australian Team for Cricketers with an Intellectual Disability.
“They’ve certainly helped me get out into the coaching environment and see and get a feel for coaching in Melbourne, it’s coaching in a completely different environment,” Hemp said.
As for his WBBL role, Hemp – a veteran of 63 Twenty20 matches – said the women’s format would be slightly different to the men’s but the fundamentals would remain the same.
“Because it’s new, it’s a different type of challenge, the strategies are quite different. You haven’t got bowlers bowling at 90mph, but the game is similar and you have to tick certain boxes.
“Every ball is an event, one bad over can ultimately cost you the game.”
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Cricket Victoria’s General Manager of Cricket Shaun Graf said Hemp had beaten a quality range of candidates to land the two-year role.
“David was one of 30 applicants, he made a presentation and his demeanour is great. He is calm, organised and all about structures,” Graf said.
“Women’s cricket is a bit different to men’s cricket, the women have a thirst for knowledge and David is a good man to impart knowledge.”
“We have had success over the past few years. A WNCL final is the minimum we would expect [in 2016].”
He said the VicSpirit players were notified of the appointment on Saturday with the reception resoundingly positive.