Sil­ver­wood’s call Eng­land turn to bowl­ing coach af­ter Kirsten bid fails

York­shire­man suc­ceeds Bayliss in top po­si­tion Im­prov­ing for­tunes of Test side will be pri­or­ity

The Daily Telegraph - Sport - - Front Page - By Nick Hoult CRICKET NEWS COR­RE­SPON­DENT

Chris Sil­ver­wood is to be ap­pointed Eng­land head coach af­ter win­ning a tight race to re­place Trevor Bayliss.

Sil­ver­wood’s pro­mo­tion from bowl­ing coach will mean a re­turn to an English head coach af­ter four years un­der Bayliss, an Aus­tralian, and top of his list of pri­or­i­ties will be to im­prove the side’s Test cricket.

Sil­ver­wood has long been a favourite choice of Ashley Giles, the di­rec­tor of cricket, but the emer­gence last week of Gary Kirsten as a se­ri­ous can­di­date ap­peared to dent his chances.

Kirsten was in pole po­si­tion when he in­di­cated he was will­ing to lead both the Test and one-day sides af­ter pre­vi­ously sug­gest­ing he was only in­ter­ested in a split role.

His im­pres­sive CV, which in­cludes tak­ing In­dia and his na­tive South Africa to No 1 in the Test rank­ings and In­dia to the 2011 World Cup, would have made his ap­point­ment a ma­jor coup for Giles, and the Eng­land and Wales Cricket Board was de­lighted when Kirsten agreed to fly over for talks.

But he was dis­ap­point­ing in in­ter­view, giv­ing an un­der­whelm­ing pre­sen­ta­tion, and it emerged there were dif­fer­ences be­tween his ex­pec­ta­tions of how much time he would be on the road and Eng­land’s idea of the level of com­mit­ment ex­pected. Kirsten would also have been a more costly ap­point­ment, and Giles would not have fan­cied crit­i­cism from within the county game for go­ing over­seas again.

Sil­ver­wood has been des­per­ate to take the top po­si­tion and has worked hard un­der Bayliss in his job as fast-bowl­ing coach since Jan­uary 2018. He led Es­sex to the cham­pi­onship ti­tle be­fore join­ing Eng­land, hav­ing fea­tured in six Tests in a 16-year play­ing ca­reer.

He is liked and re­spected by the Eng­land team, has built up a good re­la­tion­ship with Ed Smith, the na­tional se­lec­tor, and knows the county game, which was al­ways a weak­ness for his pre­de­ces­sor.

Fel­low York­shire­man Joe Root likes Sil­ver­wood and would have backed his ap­point­ment, although with the Test team strug­gling, some­one of Kirsten’s ex­pe­ri­ence would have been use­ful for the cap­tain, who is yet to re­ally stamp his mark on the side. Sil­ver­wood is ex­pected to hold his first press con­fer­ence on Thurs­day and out­line his plans for the team.

Alec Ste­wart, the di­rec­tor of cricket at Sur­rey, was also in­ter­viewed last week and the ECB was im­pressed by his pre­sen­ta­tion. It is un­der­stood he may well have pipped Sil­ver­wood to the job if he had not pulled out of the run­ning for fam­ily rea­sons.

Talk­ing last week, Root said he would be con­sulted on the de­ci­sion but the fi­nal call was made by Giles. “Ash has an ex­cit­ing but dif­fi­cult de­ci­sion to make,” Root said.

“One thing you al­ways want from a new coach is en­ergy and to give a slightly dif­fer­ent way of go­ing about things. Trevor made English cricket look at things dif­fer­ently. How can we build on that? I am look­ing for­ward to Test cricket be­com­ing more of a pri­or­ity than it has been over the past cou­ple of years.”

Hard work: Chris Sil­ver­wood will be pro­moted from his cur­rent role as fast-bowl­ing coach

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