DORSET have extended their deal with head coach Paul Prichard by three years, running until January 2024.

Prichard has top pedigree in the game after helping Essex to a Benson & Hedges Cup win over Leicestershire in 1998.

Along with Graham Gooch, he held Essex’s record for the highest opening stand of 316, until Alastair Cook and Nick Browne surpassed their mark with 373 in 2017, some 23 years later.

Dorset chairman Nick Eckland said: “We have been negotiating with Paul for a couple of months now as we believe he is an outstanding coach and a major reason why we have achieved so much recent success at Dorset.

“His management skills are extremely good and I believe we would struggle to find a better coach anywhere in the country right now.

“His CV speaks for itself and to have secured him on a three-year deal is a significant step for us in 2021 and beyond.”

Luke Webb stays on as captain and Ian Bradley returns as first-team manager.

Dorset get their season under way with a home Twenty20 clash against Herefordshire on Sunday, April 18.

Their 50-over campaign begins at Cornwall on Sunday, May 30 before the newly-named NCCA Championship assault starts at Cheshire on Sunday, July 11.