Thorpe in frame for head coach job

The Daily Telegraph - Sport - - Cricket - By Tim Wig­more Tar­get: Gra­ham Thorpe is in line to be in­ter­viewed for the job va­cated by Trevor Bayliss

Ash­ley Giles, Eng­land’s di­rec­tor of men’s cricket, was de­ter­mined that the search for a new coach should not dis­tract from the twin mon­u­men­tal chal­lenges of the sum­mer. Now that the World Cup and Ashes are over, there is an ur­gency about find­ing a re­place­ment for Trevor Bayliss.

While the ex­act na­ture of the process will be an­nounced by Giles on Fri­day, Gra­ham Thorpe, Eng­land’s bat­ting coach, is un­der­stood to be in line to be in­ter­viewed for the post. So is Chris Sil­ver­wood, Eng­land’s bowl­ing coach.

There is a long-term de­sire to pro­mote more home-grown coaches, with Pe­ter Moores – twice – the only English­man to be head coach this cen­tury. Alec Ste­wart, Surrey’s di­rec­tor of cricket, is the most likely English­man from out­side the cur­rent set-up.

Still, there re­mains a strong chance that the process will end with Eng­land look­ing over­seas again. An­drew Mc­don­ald, who has al­ready won all three Aus­tralian do­mes­tic tro­phies, met in­for­mally with Giles this sum­mer. Fellow Aus­tralian Tom Moody – who, like Mc­don­ald, was re­cently ap­pointed as a coach for the Hun­dred – is an­other strong con­tender, boast­ing both in­ter­na­tional pedi­gree with Sri Lanka and ex­ten­sive Twenty20 ex­pe­ri­ence around the world.

Ja­son Gille­spie, who was close to get­ting the job in 2015, re­mains an at­trac­tive op­tion, while Mickey Arthur has a fine record with tour­ing teams in Eng­land and led Pak­istan to No1 in the Test rank­ings in 2016.

The cur­rent Ire­land head coach, Gra­ham Ford, who per­formed well with Sri Lanka and South Africa, is also a po­ten­tial can­di­date. So is Mike Hes­son, who ex­celled as New Zealand coach. Last month, Hes­son was ap­pointed di­rec­tor of cricket op­er­a­tions for Royal Chal­lengers Ban­ga­lore.

Who­ever is ap­pointed, the whole process will be shaped by the chang­ing mar­ket for coaches. De­spite such a pul­sat­ing sum­mer, cricket is go­ing through a shift from be­ing pre­dom­i­nantly a sport de­fined by in­ter­na­tional games to one whose struc­ture looks a lit­tle more like foot­ball, with in­ter­na­tional and do­mes­tic fix­tures shar­ing the stage.

T20 leagues mean that the pro­por­tion of the game’s rev­enue de­rived from club v club matches is ris­ing; In­dia now earn over twice as much in broad­cast­ing rights for the In­dian Premier League as for home in­ter­na­tion­als.

The ripple ef­fects of this shift will help de­ter­mine the iden­tity of Eng­land’s next coach. For in­stance, Stephen Flem­ing, the for­mer New Zealand cap­tain, would be a com­pelling can­di­date – but he is en­sconced as Chen­nai Su­per Kings coach, has an ad­vi­sory role with the Mel­bourne Stars and is now head coach of the Trent Rock­ets in the Hun­dred, too.

To give all this up, and be­come a full-time in­ter­na­tional coach, Flem­ing would have to ac­cept do­ing more work for less money – the same equa­tion faced by many of the most cov­eted coaches world­wide. Giles’s pref­er­ence to ap­point only one over­all head coach – rather than one each for the red and white­ball games – fur­ther lim­its the po­ten­tial pool.

While the new head coach should get more time off than Bayliss, with the three as­sis­tants step­ping up for some se­ries, they can still ex­pect to be away from home for at least 200 days a year. That is be­lieved to have put off can­di­dates such as Gary Kirsten, who is yet an­other po­ten­tial tar­get who has a Hun­dred con­tract. In­deed, one cen­tral irony of the new com­pe­ti­tion is that it has con­trib­uted to the Eng­land head coach role be­com­ing less at­trac­tive.

So, who re­places Bayliss will not just be de­ter­mined by who Eng­land want, but by who wants Eng­land.

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