Giles back to ‘pin­na­cle’ Eng­land post

The Phnom Penh Post - - SPORT -

ASH­LEY Giles be­lieves a hu­mil­i­at­ing Eng­land de­feat by the Nether­lands helped fuel his re­turn to an even more se­nior post in the na­tional set-up

Giles has been ap­pointed as the Eng­land and Wales Cricket Board’s new di­rec­tor of cricket in suc­ces­sion to An­drew Strauss.

But it was a ver y dif fer­ent stor y when his stint as Eng­land one-day coach came to an end af­ter an em­bar­rass­ing loss to cricket min­nows t he Nether­lands at the 2014 World Twenty20 in Bangladesh.

For Eng­land, it was the end of an ex­per­i­ment that saw Giles coach­ing the lim­ited overs teams while Andy Flower took charge of the Test side.

Giles har­boured hopes, how­ever, of a re­turn to the top of Eng­land’s cricket hi­er­ar­chy even as he was be­ing sacked.

‘Cat­a­lyst’

“I said at the time, that was a goal of mine, not through bit­ter­ness,” said the 45-year-old Giles.

“If you look at my ca­reer progress over the last four or five years, I have sort of pre­pared for this role. If you are a cricket di­rec­tor or per­for­mance di­rec­tor this is the pin­na­cle in my area,” added Giles, a for­mer War­wick­shire and Lan­cashire cricket di­rec­tor.

“That pe­riod with Andy and the un­rav­el­ling of the Ashes and the de­ba­cle against the Nether­lands in Bangladesh, I guess that was al­most a cat­a­lyst for me go­ing back to univer­sity, study­ing, tak­ing a master’s de­gree and chang­ing paths slightly.

“It was a good life les­son if any­thing, but it got me where I am to­day,” in­sisted the for­mer Eng­land left-arm spin­ner, a veteran of 54 Tests that in­cluded a 2005 Ashes se­ries tri­umph.

Giles faces an ac­tion-packed 2019 with Eng­land host­ing both a World Cup and an Ashes se­ries.

But one of his key tasks will be ap­point­ing a re­place­ment for Trevor Bayliss when the Aus­tralian steps down as Eng­land coach at the end of the sea­son.

For much of the past 20 years, the head coach of the Eng­land se­nior side has come from abroad.

Zim­babwe greats Dun­can Fletcher and Andy Flower pre­ceded Bayliss, with Peter Moores – who had two ill-fated spells in charge – the lone English­man to oc­cupy the post per­ma­nently since Fletcher’s ap­point­ment.

Giles would like to bring in an English­man, but not at any cost.

“Part of my role is coach devel­op­ment so ab­so­lutely we should be de­vel­op­ing fu­ture Eng­land coaches and giv­ing them op­por­tu­ni­ties,” he said.

“Does it have to be an English coach? No, I’m not silly enough to think it has to be. We need the best man to do the job.”

Mean­while Giles faces a tricky bal­ance be­tween want­ing to make a pos­i­tive con­tri­bu­tion and not dis­rupt­ing a set-up where Eng­land, bid­ding for a maiden men’s World Cup ti­tle, cur­rently top the one-day rank­ings and are sec­ond in the equiv­a­lent Test stand­ings.

As a con­se­quence, the team’s con­tro­ver­sial pre-match foot­ball warm-up might sur­vive, for the time be­ing at least, de­spite Giles’ con­cerns.

Eng­land bats­man Jonny Bairstow in­jured his an­kle in a kick­about dur­ing the re­cent Sri Lanka tour and Giles said: “Ev­ery­one knows my thoughts on foot­ball and I will dis­cuss that with the cap­tains and coaches.

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