Who is the best bet to replace Andy Flower as England team director?
To say the England national cricket team are currently in turmoil is an understatement. Fallouts, retirements, dramatic loss of form, sackings… all these actions have taken place in the space of less than three months.
If England are to pick up the pieces and get back to world-beaters of the last two years, picking the right team director will be crucial. Here is a list of potential candidates to fill the position vacated by Zimbabwean Andy Flower.
Former England slow left arm bowler Giles – nicknamed the ‘King of Spain’ – is the odds-on favourite for the team director position after being described by ECB chief Giles Clarke as a “very strong candidate”, and it appears is also the man who wants the job most.
It seems that Clarke always had Giles in mind to take over the reins of the Test side as he was recently put in charge of the national side’s limited-over matches. However, after a disappointing showing in the recent One Day and Twenty20 defeats to Australia following the Ashes, perhaps the ECB are giving it another think.
Giles leads his side into the Twenty20 World Cup next month, and with odds of 9/1 to reclaim the title they won in 2010, this is the ideal audition to see if the 40-year-old can reinstall confidence in to the side.
The current head coach of Indian Premier League (IPL) team Delhi Daredevils is definitely the best man for the role, and has enjoyed terrific spells in charge of the South Africa and India national teams in the past.
Known as a fantastic coach, tactician and motivator, the former South Africa international batsman certainly ticks all the boxes, but it still remains to be seen if the ECB can get their man. Kirsten left the Proteas last August to spend more time with his family, and was recently quoted as saying that he was “not considering [the England job] at this stage.”
But, with England’s next test match not until June this year against Sri Lanka, they certainly have time on their hands to make a decision. Four months is a long time, so perhaps Kirsten may reconsider.
Australian Moody ruled out the opportunity to be England chief five years ago, but it looks as if he has thrown his name in the hat this time around.
The 48-year old recently said: “The England job is one that I think any aspiring coach would want to take on, and I’m no different from that”.
Currently head coach of IPL side Sunrisers Hyderabad, Moody has previous international coaching experience with Sri Lanka, leading them to the 2007 World Cup final.
Current Yorkshire first team coach Gillespie will have a good knowledge and understanding of the English game, having also turned out for the renowned cricketing county towards the end of his playing career.
The former Australian fast bowler – the first of Aboriginal descent – has had previous international experience with Zimbabwe, and since taking over as Yorkshire boss in 2011, he has overseen their promotion from the County Championship Division 2, and last year they lead the way in the top league for much of the season before losing out to Durham.
However, again it seems very doubtful Gillespie wants to take over at this point, saying: “I am 100 per cent committed to Yorkshire. I love my job, I would look at an international opportunity down the line but not at this stage.”
Other candidates include Lancashire-born former-Yorkshire batsman and England captain Michael Vaughan and past England and current Lancashire head coach Peter Moores. The former, however, has ruled himself out.
Big-names also in the frame include current Kent director Graham Ford, former Australia coach Mickey Arthur and Nottinghamshire director of cricket Mick Newell.