If you ever leave a job, you want to know two things: have I done a good job and is the business in a better position than when I started working here? That is unless you’ve been fired and then the answer to those questions should be pretty obvious. However as Leicestershire announced today that at the end of the season, Andrew McDonald, their Elite Performance Director will leave his post to return to Australia, the answer to those two questions is an unequivocal yes!
McDonald took the reins at Leicestershire in November 2014 following a successful playing career for the club, where he helped the county lift the T20 Trophy in 2011.
However, he took on a side who had finished bottom of Division Two of the County Championship the previous season and leaves a county who currently sit fifth in the same division this year, just 20 points behind second place, which in any previous season would give them a good chance of promotion to the promised land of Division One cricket.
McDonald has done a good job, it is clear and the club are clearly in a better position than when he took over, so why is he leaving? Well, Leicestershire’s loss will be the Melbourne Renegades and Victoria’s gain, as McDonald returns to Australia to take up control of the two sides. Most importantly to McDonald however, the move also allows his family to settle again and have stability.
McDonald’s comments on the matter clarified his confliction leading to the decision, “It has been an extremely difficult decision to leave Leicestershire County Cricket Club but I have to put my family first and we are now going to settle back home in Australia.
“I’d like to thank the club for this fantastic opportunity, I’ll always be grateful for having the chance to both play and coach at the Fischer County Ground and will continue to follow the club’s fortunes from afar.
“I also appreciate the fact that Leicestershire have allowed me the opportunity to return home and wish the club every success for the future.
It cannot have been an easy decision the club to allow McDonald to leave his contract early and return to Australia, however it shows great class and respect on the part of the club, for a player and coach who has given a great deal to the county.
The class and respect shown by Chief Executive Wasim Khan MBE is clear through his comments, “This decision has not been easy for Andrew and we are naturally disappointed to lose a person and coach of his calibre.
“We fully understand and respect the reasons for his decision. Andrew has done a fantastic job here in his two years as Elite Performance Director, with the team making great strides forward.
“Performances and results have drastically improved and Andrew has left a strong platform to build on. We will now look to build on his excellent work.
“Andrew is an outstanding leader and I have no doubt that Cricket Victoria and Melbourne Renegades will see huge progress with Andrew at the helm.
“Everyone at Leicestershire County Cricket Club would like to wish Andrew and his family well for the future.
The club moved quickly to announce McDonald’s successor and have gone for continuity within the club, promoting Pierre de Bruyn from within.
De Bruyn joined the club joined as Second XI and Assistant Skills Coach last winter and has since worked closely alongside McDonald, de Bruyn previously worked as Head Coach and Technical Director with Tuks Cricket, the team that represents the University of Pretoria, after a very successful first-class playing career.
Wasim Khan MBE was excited to announce de Bruyn’s promotion saying, “Pierre has made a huge impression since joining the club and has done a fantastic job this season. Pierre has stepped up to carry out a number of different roles and we feel that it is now the right time for him to take on this exciting new role.
“The club has made massive strides forward in the two years that Andrew has been here and Pierre will now carry on that excellent work in what are hugely exciting times at the Fischer County Ground.
Khan also announced that they would be appointing an assistant coach which would be announced next week, whoever that is coming in to support de Bruyn will be tackling a much easier task than McDonald took on two years ago.
If de Bruyn and the new assistant coach make the same improvements in a two year period that McDonald has, then Leicestershire fans can expect to playing Division One cricket by the end of that period, and if they are, the first person that Wasim Khan should be on the phone to say thank you to, should be Andrew McDonald. Time difference allowing obviously.