England men’s performance director Mo Bobat – described by Rob Key as his “guiding hand” – will leave in February to become Royal Challengers Bangalore’s director of cricket in the Indian Premier League.
Bobat, 40, worked as a school teacher before 12 years at the England and Wales Cricket Board. At first he managed the under-19s programme, then was “player identification lead”, and has been in his current role for the last four years.
At RCB, he will be reunited with Andy Flower, the former England head coach, with whom he had a long-standing relationship working on the second-string England Lions programme. He has also worked for some years as a consultant with RCB, so is familiar with the franchise, which is home to Virat Kohli.
Bobat will see out his notice period and leave in February, after the Lions activity concludes. They are due to go on a training camp to the UAE in November before playing first-class cricket in India alongside the Test tour in the new year.
Bobat has been involved in England’s 2019 ODI and 2022 T20 World Cup triumphs, as well as rejuvenating the Test team under Ben Stokes and Brendon McCullum. Bobat said this had “quite literally been the stuff of dreams” and that he left with the “heaviest of hearts”.
Key, England’s managing director, said: “This is a bittersweet moment for me personally because while I am delighted that Mo has been given an unbelievable opportunity, it marks the end of probably the most enjoyable partnership of any career I have had.
“When I first arrived at the ECB 18 months ago Mo was the guiding hand that allowed me to get my feet under the table and to get on with my role. I have absolutely no doubt I would have drowned without his support and expertise.
“All anyone ever wants is to have an impact in whatever they do, and Mo can look back and see that he’s not only impacted English cricket but impacted England cricketers. I wish him all the best.”
Bobat becomes the latest member of England’s administrative and backroom staff to leave for the franchise game. In recent years, Giles Lindsay has joined Rajasthan Royals as an analyst and Ben Langley has joined Mumbai Indians as global head of science and medicine.
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