Dougie Brown has more than 10 years of experience under his belt and the UAE interim head coach is grateful for Bob Woolmer on the “enormous” impact he had on his career.
Today marks a decade since the cricket world was left stunned when the-then Pakistan coach Woolmer suddenly passed away, aged 58, at Kingston hospital in Jamaica after being found unconscious in his hotel room.
It came just 24 hours after his team had suffered an embarrassing 2007 World Cup group exit after a defeat to Ireland.
Initially, it prompted a murder investigation but in November that same year, a jury recorded an open verdict with insufficient evidence to prove criminal activity or natural causes.
Like the rest of the cricket fraternity Brown was left in shock, having worked with Woolmer when he was charge of Warwickshire between 1991 and 1995.
At the time, Brown was in his early 20s with still plenty of years in front of him.
He would go on to make his first-team debut in 1992, playing 197 in his 15 years, scoring 8,066 runs as well as taking 515 wickets.
That form would see him represent England and Scotland on the international stage, and the 47-year-old is thankful to the Englishman for his contribution in making him the player he was.
“He (Woolmer) had an enormous impact on me,” he told Sport360. “I was a young player and didn’t know much about the tactics.
“He was somebody who challenged you to do a reverse sweep and manipulate the field that you wanted as a batter.
“While you would practise that in training, he would encourage you to do it in a game. It was difficult because it wasn’t used to what we were doing but with the support he gave you off the field, he really challenged you and gave you the belief you can do it. He was very generous with his time and just enjoyed challenging and encouraging us to be as good as we can be.
“He was a fantastic man and was outstanding for the game of cricket.”
Outstanding coach and even better bloke… thanks for being such a big part in my journey Bob! https://t.co/xyYg4aUPIz
— Dougie Brown (@dougie1brown) March 16, 2017
During his four years at the helm, Woolmer brought success to Edgbaston with their finest hour coming in 1994 with three domestic trophies. That season remains their most successful term in their history.
For Brown, having retired in 2007, he went on to coach the first-team from 2013 until October last year, winning the 2014 T20 Blast and last season’s One-Day Cup before ending his 27-year association.
He next assignment has seen him go overseas to take on the UAE top job until May.
And wherever he goes after this stint, Woolmer’s legacy will always remain. “I think of all the coaches that I worked with, from a skill perspective, then his thoughts on how you played the game and what skills are required to play the game are definitely something that holds on to me to this day,” he said.
“His coaching philosophy has changed my career enormously. As a player, he was always challenging his players to implement the skills that they’ve never implemented before. He treated everyone as individuals and challenged them to be as good as they can be and that’s something I’ve taken on board with my coaching philosophy.”
“Back in 2007 when he died, the game of cricket lost one of its great coaches in modern days and he certainly left an impression on the people that he worked with.”