Dale Benkenstein, the former Proteas ODI batsman who has coached Hampshire for two and a half years, is returning to South Africa.
He has left the club with immediate effect, citing ‘family pressures’.
The coach leaves Hampshire two months from the end of a season in which they lie at the foot of Division One of the Championship and have failed to qualify for the quarter-finals of the NatWest T20 Blast for the first time in eight years.
Benkenstein, who led the club to two T20 Blast Finals Days and County Championship promotion, said ‘I have loved every minute of my time at Hampshire. It is with genuine regret that I leave at this time but the extended periods of separation from my family responsibilities in South Africa have become increasingly more difficult for me and my wife and they need to be my priority at this time.’
Hampshire’s director of cricket, Giles White, said: ‘We are naturally disappointed to be losing Dale at this stage of the season. However, we have been aware of the difficulties he has encountered and understand his decision to step down.’
Benkenstein was instrumental in parachuting Ryan McLaren into the side to help save them from relegation last year, a task he fulfilled well enough to earn a contract this season.
Benkenstein, who played for Natal and the Dolphins, was selected for 23 ODIs for South Africa between 1998-2002.
Photo: Getty Images