CRICKET: Pete Sykes is well aware he has his hands full as he starts his new job as the Wiltshire Cricket Board’s cricket development manager.

“I’m responsible for everything to do with Wiltshire cricket,” said the 24-year-old Chippenham 2nd XI captain, summing up the complexities of his new role in a reassuringly simple sentence.

But as you would expect from a role that attracted international interest following the departure of Steve Silk in December, the reality is somewhat different.

Sykes’ remit is to maximise the opportunities for people of all ages and backgrounds to get involved in cricket in Wiltshire, to improve the facilities they use and to oversee the nurturing of potential stars.

And the former Sheldon School, Chippenham, pupil knows he has big boots to fill following the departure of Silk, who he worked with as cricket development officer for two years.

He said: “Steve did a fantastic job. He came in a couple of years ago and really enthused people throughout the county.

“He was a very popular person and I’ve got to carry it on and deliver the projects he was planning before he left. I’m absolutely loving it, it’s a dream job for me.

“I’ve worked for Wiltshire Cricket for the last two years, I’ve built up relationships with people throughout the county and it seemed a really good time to come in.”

Sykes will oversee a number of schemes in his new role, including the Emerging Player programme, which aims to get young cricketers into the teams of first class counties.

He is also responsible for Chance to Shine, a programme which gives coaching to primary and secondary school pupils and provides them with equipment.

He will organise courses for aspiring coaches, umpires and groundsmen, attempt to improve links between schools and clubs, and help those clubs gain funding for development projects.

Eventually, the Wiltshire Cricket Board wants to create a Centre of Excellence at John Bentley School in Calne, at which all coaching programmes will take place, but Sykes emphasises this idea is still in its infancy.

The relaunch of the county’s coaching association is another project Sykes will be involved in.

His role may be wide-ranging and demanding, but the prospect of developing cricket in his home county proved irresistible to Sykes, who has lived in Chippenham all his life.

“Being a Wiltshire lad, it’s something that’s important to me,” he said.

Wiltshire Cricket Board secretary Chris Sheppard has backed Sykes to be a success. He said: “It is great that someone local got the post and we are sure that Pete will do a fantastic job.

“Following Steve Silk will not be easy but Pete has been involved with many of the ongoing projects and will definitely hit the ground running.”

The Wiltshire Cricket Board are looking for a replacement development officer for Sykes. A copy of the job description can be downloaded from the Wiltshire Cricket website.

Alternatively, those wanting a copy of the description can e-mail Sykes at