Former New Zealand international Jeetan Patel has been appointed as spin-bowling consultant for the visiting England team, specifically for their five-match T20 international series that begins next month.
Patel, who currently captains Warwickshire in county cricket, has 892 first-class wickets, alongside strong white-ball credentials, with 283 List A and 229 T20 wickets.
The 39-year-old, who has represented Wellington for almost 20 years in New Zealand domestic cricket, said that taking up the England assignment is also a way of "handling over the mantle" at his youth club.
🏏 Good luck to Jeetan Patel, who has been appointed @englandcricket's spin bowling consultant for the upcoming T20Is in New Zealand.— PCA (@PCA) October 17, 2019
🌪️ The @WarwickshireCCC off-spinner continues his personal development, and has ambitions to become a coach once his playing career finishes. pic.twitter.com/17EFGOgZ27
"The opportunity came up and I spoke to Cricket Wellington, and they were very positive about me doing that," Patel said. "Firstly for my development beyond playing, and it gives other guys an opportunity to perform in my place, which is part of handing over the mantle."
Spin twins Adil Rashid and Moeen Ali have been England's leading wicket-takers across formats in the last four years, with 416 wickets between them. With Ali not available for selection for the New Zealand tour, England will hope Patel's involvement can magnify the impact Rashid can create with his right-arm wrist-spin.
England would also hope they can make use of the time they have with Patel to address how better their batsmen can tackle spin, with three of the top four wicket-takers against England since January 2010 having been spinners. With 64 wickets at 26.75, Patel was Warwickshire's highest wicket-taker and the third-highest overall in the 2019 County Championship.
You've got to tap into these opportunities when they arise because they don't arise all the time
"I don't know how it's going to pan out, I don't even know if I'll be any good at it," Patel said, looking ahead to the stint. "But I really want to give it a good go. I think I've got some attributes that can help some guys.
"For me, looking at what's next, you've got to tap into these opportunities when they arise, because they don't arise all the time. To work with England is huge, and I'm so grateful that this has come about. Now, it's up to me what I do with it."
England play five T20Is and two Tests in New Zealand, starting on 1 November.