Mark Alleyne is hoping that working with Gary Kirsten this season can ignite the Welsh Fire’s happiness in the men’s hundreds and help the pair achieve more white ball success.
Welsh Fire finished bottom of the inaugural competition with just two wins, but Kirsten, who won the Indian Premier League this year with the Gujarat Titans as batting coach, has responded by changing player personnel and bringing in a series winner.
Alleyne enjoyed a trophy-rich spell at Gloucestershire, helping them win nine Daily titles in seven seasons between 1999 and 2006.
This included winning three consecutive Lord’s Finals and he would happily be back at the Home of Cricket to fight for The Hundred on 3 September.
He told the PA news agency: ‘It’s good to be close to winning groups so that’s important.
“Gary also has his own family tree. He just recently won the IPL and will be buzzing and ready to go.”
Welsh Fire open this year’s hundred on Wednesday with a clash in the Ageas Bowl against champions Southern Brave and represent top-flight clubs Glamorgan, Somerset and Gloucestershire.
Alleyne’s achievements are inscribed in Gloucestershire folklore. The former England international arrived at the county in 1986 and became a mainstay as an all-rounder, wicketkeeper and eventually captain before taking over as head coach in 2004.
He left after three seasons as manager, having been an integral part of one of English cricket’s most successful one-day teams, with two Benson & Hedges Super Cup triumphs complemented by four C&G Trophy – formerly known as the NatWest Trophy – and a lone Sunday league win during a campaign in 2000 in which they won the white-ball triple.
“Once it happened you might not appreciate it that much, but looking back it was a fantastic run that hasn’t been properly matched since,” reflected the 54-year-old.
“In a way, the secret is that there is no secret! It’s just about accepting and demanding every inch of the entire squad and not sitting back or relying on certain people to win a game.
“The best teams can accommodate everyone and make them feel special, even if their moment only lasted five minutes or ten minutes or three balls, whatever it takes. I think that’s how you get a really consistent level of performance from the whole group.”
Given Alleyne’s stellar playing career and strong start in life as a coach, winning the 2004 C&G Trophy and guiding Gloucestershire to their only Twenty20 final in 2007, there remains a sense of bewilderment that he was then absent from the county team for more than a decade. game was.
He’s honest enough to admit that it was partly his own decision to spend more time with his young family, but despite a long stint as MCC’s head coach, found many doors closed.
It was Gloucestershire and former team-mate Ian Harvey who gave him a route as one of their part-time assistant coaches last year and he has since toured the West Indies and the Netherlands with England’s white-ball teams.
Alleyne added: “It’s really exciting for me to get back in.
“It wasn’t solely cricket’s fault. Yes, I went to MCC (2009) to really improve and understand my overall coaching philosophy. I figured I’d stay there for three, maybe four years and then be ready to get back into first-class cricket. At the time, I couldn’t find any options.
“Then I lost sight of first-class ball a bit but when my kids were of an age where I was happy with their position I started getting involved again and so far a few options have come up.
“I’ve had some good chances with England, with Gloucestershire and now with Welsh Fire. I have a feeling the next four or five years will be pretty exciting.”
After a long absence, Alleyne wants to seize his moment and help inspire a new generation of black coaches.
In an alternate world, Alleyne is the England head white-ball coach and Kirsten is in charge of setting up the national tests after both went for interviews this summer, but instead aim to turn the tide at the Welsh Fire.
Going from bottom to 100 winners in 12 months could help Alleyne achieve a long-term goal.
“I’d like to see more black coaches out there,” he said. “I hope this will give everyone the encouragement to fully qualify, get out there and at least give them a shot at a role.
“I think I have the skills and that’s how I’ve always acted. I look to myself first and say can I do this job and influence the England team? If I can say yes, then of course I’ll put myself in a position to tackle it.
“I wouldn’t do anything for tokenism, I’m not wired that way but at the moment I really feel like I can make an impact on English cricket and I’d love to do that with the national team.”