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CRICKET: Vainker excited by Argentina mission
Oxfordshire bowler Francois Vainker can’t wait to fly out to Argentina on Saturday to take up a post helping develop the game.
The Oxford CC left-arm spinner, who is 24 this month, jets out from Heathrow to Buenos Aires to start a job as coach at St George’s College in the city’s Quilmes province.
Vainker was offered the role after expressing an interest to coach in Argentina while on tour there with the Cryptics – an invitational wandering side – last New Year.
It came after he had shone in games involving the country’s trial teams and the full Argentina side, before speaking to former Northants cricketer Toby Bailey, who was coaching in Buenos Aires. Vainker, who lives in Jericho, Oxford, said: “I did quite well against them and got chatting to the coach.
“I said I would be interested in coming over to coach. He had just become a father and was moving back to England and was looking for someone to help them.”
Vainker was subsequently offered the post, and he said: “I can’t wait. It is a great chance not just as a life experience, but as a career thing as well. That is why I was excited to do it and I jumped at it.”
As well as his role at St George’s, he will be coaching the club side of the same name, which is attached to the school, and is also hoping to get involved with the Argentina Cricket Board and the national side.
“There are three grass pitches in Buenos Aires, so I am based at a school where one of the pitches are and I will be coaching the school, and there is a club attached to the school,” he added.
“I have also offered my services to the Argentina Cricket Board to help with administration and sponsorship, and to do coaching with age group teams and the full side.”
Vainker, who started playing cricket at Rover Cowley at the age of seven, had trials with Worcestershire and played for Wolverhampton in the Birmingham League, before moving to London to work for Ladbrokes where he worked on previews for their sports betting website.
“This is the field of work I want to get into – sports development, so when this opportunity came up I was happy to give up my job,” he added.
“Ideally I would like to work in a similar role, but back in the UK, maybe with the ECB or sports development.”
And the Argentina role could see him expand his South American adventure as he has an option to go to Peru as cricket development officer in Lima.
“There is even less cricket in Peru, so that would be quite an interesting job,” he said.
The trip to Argentina means he will be unable to help Oxfordshire’s bid for the Minor Counties Championship Western Division title after taking seven wickets in their recent win over Herefordshire.
And he will also be missed by Oxford as they battle to stay up in Serious Cricket Home Counties Premier League Division 1, having taken 25 wickets this season.
“We have been struggling a bit,” he said. “But my performances have been quite good, so I am quite happy from a personal level, but I would obviously prefer to be leaving with us in a better position in the league.
“It is a shame to be missing the end of the season and with Oxfordshire as well with a chance of pushing for the divisional title, but this is too big an opportunity.”
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