Ashley Giles, England’s director of cricket, said he has held informal talks with possible candidates to take over from Trevor Bayliss as head coach at the end of the summer. Bayliss, who has held the post for four years, will leave at the conclusion in September of the forthcoming Ashes series. Whatever happens against Australia,
Ashley Giles, England’s director of cricket, said he has held informal talks with possible candidates to take over from Trevor Bayliss as head coach at the end of the summer.
Bayliss, who has held the post for four years, will leave at the conclusion in September of the forthcoming Ashes series. Whatever happens against Australia, with the first Test starting at Edgbaston on Thursday, the 56‑year‑old will leave a World Cup winner following England’s success in that tournament earlier this month.
Giles has refused to start an official recruitment process until the autumn to avoid speculation over the Australian’s successor distracting the team during a huge home summer. However, he has conceded he is sounding out potential candidates on an informal basis. “I can say I’ve had some conversations with people but very relaxed conversations over a coffee or over the phone,” Giles said. “I’m naturally going to be feeling people out a little bit on the position but nothing formal, nothing public and that process will continue for me to get to know some of these people.”
Chris Silverwood, one of Bayliss’s current assistants, has been mentioned as a possible contender for the top job after he led Essex to the County Championship title in 2017.
Pressed on whether his preference would be for an English coach to succeed Bayliss, Giles said: “Certainly we want someone who will do all three formats and then we need to manage the workloads of those coaches very carefully. It’d be nice to have an English coach but we’ve got to get the best bloke.”
For Giles the successful candidate will have to buy into the team culture that has been cultivated by the Test captain, Joe Root, and Eoin Morgan, his white‑ball equivalent. They have looked to change the culture since the Ben Stokes street brawl in Bristol in September 2017, as well as the following winter’s Ashes tour that saw several off-field incidents, leading Andrew Strauss, Giles’s predecessor, to introduce a midnight curfew.
“We need someone who can fit with the culture that is really developing well in the team,” he said. “These guys are still going to make mistakes, still going to get it wrong sometimes and we know during this series something’s going to come out. There’s going to be an incident I’m sure at some point on the field that’s not going to be particularly pretty. That’s the Ashes.
“Having a coach who fits with what we’re trying to do in the dressing room and is still his own man is a fine balance to strike but it’s important.”
Giles is hopeful the right candidate will be in place for the tour of South Africa that starts in December but a caretaker coach is likely to be in place for the tour of New Zealand that begins in late October. “I’ve always said if you looked at the World Cup and the Ashes it was far more important for me to have some stability now and less noise and chatter around the new head coach than worrying about someone going in who’s babysitting the New Zealand tour. I’d rather that than everything going on now.”
There is no chance of that caretaker being Bayliss. “No, I think Trev’s done and I mean that in the nicest possible way,” Giles said. “He’s set himself a goal of getting to the end of this Ashes and then letting someone else take over. Hopefully he can hand over on the back of a great summer and winning the World Cup and Ashes would be unprecedented.”
With the New Zealand tour, which comprises five Twenty20 games and two Tests, not counting towards the new World Test Championship, which was launched at Edgbaston on Monday, England are likely to rest a raft of leading players for that six-week trip. “We’ll use that series as we see really,” said Giles. “We’ve got a lot of cricket this winter and we need to be careful with some of the workloads. We’ll take a look at that after the Ashes.”
The future of Morgan, England’s World Cup-winning captain who will be 36 when the 2023 tournament starts in India, is also on the agenda for Giles.
“I’ve not talked to him yet,” he said. “I want to give him some time. We’ll have a chat at some point but he’s still probably got to come back down to earth, do some thinking and then we’ll get together. I think we need to have that conversation but he’s shown himself to be a fantastic leader of this team and [at 32] he’s not that old.”