Di Venuto guides Surrey to county title
Surrey claim their first County Championship title in 16 years under the tutelage of Australian Michael Di Venuto
14 September 2018, 08:24 AM AEST
Former Australia batting coach Michael Di Venuto has guided Surrey to their first English County Championship title in 16 years.
The highly-rated Di Venuto had been touted as a potential replacement to Darren Lehmann before Justin Langer's appointment as national coach, saw his side seal the title with a three-wicket win against Worcestershire on Thursday.
The 44-year-old joined Surrey in 2016 and under his influence the south London club have reeled off nine successive wins this season to finish top of the championship with still two matches to spare.
Half-centuries from captain Rory Burns and England batsman Mark Stoneman helped Surrey chase down a target of 272 against the division's bottom side with former South Africa quick Morne Morkel hitting the winning runs.
Di Venuto, a prolific run scorer in both Sheffield Shield and county cricket in the late 90s and 2000s, was Australia batting coach for three years before leaving for The Oval in 2016.
He is extremely well regarded by the Australia players and widely credited with being instrumental in helping Steve Smith rise to the world's No.1 batsman during his three years in the international set-up.
The Tasmanian, who played nine ODIs for Australia in 1997, has also been crucial in the progression of England young guns Tom and Sam Curran and Ollie Pope, who all made their Test debuts this year.