Gareth Berg named playing head coach of Italy

Gareth Berg appeals Getty Images

Gareth Berg, the Northamptonshire allrounder, has been appointed playing head coach of the Italian national side.

Berg, who has been involved with Italian cricket since 2012, qualifying through his mother's heritage, will continue to be available for Northamptonshire throughout this year's county season. He will work with former Sydney Thunder allrounder Carl Sandri, who has been named as Italy's senior high-performance coach.

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"Initially I was thinking about just being a part of the Italian coaching set up, but this opportunity as head coach came up and I decided to put myself forward," Berg told Northamptonshire's website.

"I have a number of years behind me as a professional now and a good group of players at my disposal. They're seriously good players and not just from Italy itself, there's many with Italian passports from all over the world."

Cape Town-born Berg, who turns 40 this month, was part of the Italy side that competed in the 2013 ICC World Twenty20 Qualifiers in the U.A.E.

"There's a wide variety of competitions out there now, including the ECL (European Cricket League), which has taken off," he said. "Italian cricket is on the up but it isn't just us, there other countries like Germany and Jersey who are benefiting from the extra funding coming in now too.

"My commitment to county cricket and Northamptonshire is first and foremost, it always has been about county cricket for me. I'm not getting any younger though so there's always an eye on what's ahead for me in the future and hopefully this will be part of that."