London: Former South African cricket captain Kepler Wessels confirmed on Saturday that he has accepted the post of Northamptonshire's first team manager for the next two seasons.
He will replace former director of cricket Bob Carter, who parted company with the club after a disappointing 2002 campaign despite having a year left on his contract. "It is both an honour and a privilege to accept the position as first team manager," the 45-year-old Wessels said, who will join the English club in March after the 2003 World Cup in his home country. "I am well aware of the club's goals, aspirations and objectives, and will do everything in my power to help them succeed. It is always a challenge to work with an emerging team, and I am looking forward to a productive association with the players, club officials, members and supporters." Wessels played county cricket for Sussex from 1976 to 1980 and after joining Kerry Packer's World Series, settled in Australia where he played for Queensland. Having qualified through residence, he first played Test cricket for Australia and represented it in 16 Tests, touring England in 1985. He returned to South Africa in 1986 and became the first captain upon its recall to international cricket in 1992. Wessels is now the second South African to coach Northamptonshire, with Mike Procter, now a Test match referee, doing the job in the early 1990s.
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