Morrisons chief executive Dalton Philips is to send his top managers on cricket coaching courses to help them improve their management skills.

Morrisons is spending £1m to send 1,000 managers to the home of Yorkshire County Cricket Club to learn skills at the club where Geoffrey Boycott and Darren Gough once trained, said The Daily Telegraph.

Philips, a keen marathon runner but a novice at cricket, said: “We have got very strong growth ambitions. If we want to take people to the next level managers have got to become great coaches. The top 1% influence 134,000 staff and this is about bringing coaching to life.”

He said the majority of staff have trained up from the shop floor and Morrisons wants to keep that tradition and “supercharge” it with additional support.

Morrisons is working with Pat Duffy, professor of sports coaching at Leeds Metropolitan University.

Morrisons said the Headingley course teaches staff new skills, how to challenge and motivate people and the importance of team building.

Philips said there is nothing “fluffy” about the cricket course.