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Smith to take on Worcestershire coaching job

Worcestershire's long-serving batsmen Ben Smith is to retire at the end of the season to take up a new role as assistant coach with the county.

The 28-year-old spent 12 seasons with Leicestershire before moving to New Road in 2002.

He scored more than 18,000 first-class runs at an average of 40 and over 29,000 in all competitions.

Former captain Smith has been combining his playing duties with that of fielding coach for the past 12 months.

But he will now take on a more senior role assisting director of cricket and former Worcestershire team-mate Steve Rhodes.

Smith said: "I have taken the difficult decision to retire from playing at the end of this season.

"Over the years I have taken my coaching qualifications. To have the opportunity to start my 'second' career with such a talented group of players at Worcestershire is greatly appreciated."

Rhodes said: "Ben has had a wonderful playing career with both Leicestershire and ourselves and I am delighted he has agreed to join our coaching team on a full-time basis.

"He will continue to work with our contracted and academy players in developing fielding skills.

"But he will also take on additional roles including one to one specialist coaching, match preparation and video analysis.

"He will be of great assistance to both Damian D'Oliveira (academy coach) and myself as we develop our young squad in the years ahead."