Former Cumnor cricketer Simon Cook is looking to lead a French revolution with a difference after becoming the national coach.

The 36-year-old seamer, whose successful first-class career with Middlesex and Kent came to an end last September, has a 30-day contract to coach France this summer.

And on top of that, he has a verbal agreement for a two-year deal to become head coach of Hong Kong Cricket Club.

Looking ahead to the challenges, Cook said: “Coaching is where I want to go. While I was playing, I did all my qualifications.

“I have the ECB Level 4, which is currently the highest you can go to.

“I coached for ten years in the winter while I was playing and really enjoyed helping players develop.”

The chance to coach France – who will compete in the International Cricket Council (ICC) Europe Division 1 T20 Championship in Sussex from July 8-14 – came about with the ICC linking up associate nations with first-class counties.

And with Cook now living in Stockholm, Sweden, where his wife, Maria, works as a competition lawyer, he says the short-term contract works well.

“France have an agreement with Kent where they help them out with facilities and advise on the structure,” he explained.

“They were looking for a coach to come in anyway, and it was a natural progression for me to help them out.”

He will take charge of a weekend training camp in Canterbury, before France play the MCC at home, and then a warm-up tournament in Rotterdam next month, ahead of their European mission in Sussex.

“We are hoping to do well, and if we qualify in that tournament we go forward to the World Cup Twenty20 qualifiers in Dubai,” he added.

Further down the line, Cook is encouraged by the prospect of working in the Far East.

“That is going to be a really exciting project because it is an area where the potential for growth is huge, and not just into Hong Kong,” he said.

“It goes into China as well and the ICC have started putting a lot of money into Asian cricket.”

Cook’s move into coaching comes after a 15-year career in the game with Middlesex – who spotted him while he was playing with Andrew Strauss for Oxfordshire Under 19s – and Kent.

He was in the Middlesex side which won the NatWest Pro40 League Division 2, taking 39 wickets to equal the record, before winning the Twenty20 Cup and County Championship Division 2 with Kent.

“I was fortunate to play that long and thoroughly enjoyed both clubs I played for,” reflected the opening bowler, whose best first-class return was 8-63 for Middlesex against Northants at Northampton.

“I was lucky enough to win silverware. I guess my career highlight was winning the Twenty20 Cup in 2007 with Kent.”