Giles the dis­ci­plinar­ian de­mands tough cricket

The Observer - Sport - - Cricket / West Indies Tour - Ali Martin

Ash­ley Giles wants Eng­land to play hard on the field but also be the most re­spected team in the world, hav­ing al­ready demon­strated his self­con­fessed dis­ci­plinar­ian side dur­ing his fi rst week as di­rec­tor of cricket.

Five days into the role Giles found him­self re­mov­ing two ta­lented young play­ers, Joe Clarke and Tom KohlerCad­more, from the Eng­land Lions tour to In­dia af­ter de­tails of a lewd What­sapp group in­volv­ing the pair were made pub­lic dur­ing the court case of their for­mer Worces­ter­shire team- mate, Alex Hep­burn.

The hi­er­ar­chy at the Eng­land and Wales Cricket Board are said to have been shocked by the con­tent of the on­line chat and fol­low­ing the Bristol in­ci­dent in 2017 that cul­mi­nated in Ben Stokes be­ing found not guilty of af­fray – though he and Alex Hales ac­cept crick­et­ing and fi nan­cial sanc­tions for bringing the game into dis­re­pute – acted swiftly. Clarke and Kohler- Cad­more have since been re­placed by the for­mer’s Not­ting­hamshire team- mate Tom Moores and Will Jacks of Sur­rey.

Speak­ing about dis­ci­pline in mid­week, Giles said: “How we play and are viewed out­wardly is im­por­tant to [ the ECB chief ex­ec­u­tive] Tom Har­ri­son and to [ the chairman] Colin Graves but it is also re­ally im­por­tant to me. It’s how we are seen and how we are re­spected. We still want peo­ple to play cricket hard. We don’t want bland cricket played out on the fi eld. What is that line? It is diffi cult some­times to know what it is but I want us to play tough cricket on the pitch and win. But as much as I want us to be the best team in the world, I also want us to be the most re­spected for how we go about things. That is go­ing to be chal­lenged – there are go­ing to be things that pop up that would go against that. But a big part of my role is to man­age that.”

Like his pre­de­ces­sor, An­drew Strauss, Giles in­tends to sit in on se­lec­tion meet­ings and, though he will not have a vote, the for­mer Test spin­ner ex­pects Jofra Archer to en­ter the de­bate for this sum­mer’s World Cup .

As Joe Root’s Test play­ers ac­cli­ma­tise to con­di­tions in Bar­ba­dos

be­fore the warm- up matches against a Pres­i­dent’s XI from Tues­day, one of the is­land’s most talked about re­cent ex­ports, Archer, is con­tin­u­ing his do­mes­tic as­cent 10,000 miles away at Ho­bart Hur­ri­canes in Aus­tralia’s Big Bash League.

The Caribbean tour has come too soon for a 23- year- old tal­ent who, de­spite rep­re­sent­ing West In­dies Un­der- 19s, is intent on play­ing for Eng­land when he be­comes el­i­gi­ble by way of res­i­dency – and his British pass­port – in March. In a re­cent in­ter­view Archer said he had no ex­pec­ta­tions of an im­me­di­ate callup but al­ready he ap­pears close.

Giles cer­tainly ap­pears of that opin­ion and is now keen to gather the thoughts of the pan­el­lists as well as Eoin Mor­gan, the one- day cap­tain, and Root. He said: “It will be ex­cit­ing when Jofra is avail­able. Any guys who bowl 90mph- plus are go­ing to cre­ate in­ter­est and get peo­ple out of their seats. How we look af­ter them and when we in­tro­duce them is a diffi - cult bal­ance to strike some­times but it is im­por­tant.

“I’ll have to speak to Ed [ Smith]. And I’ll need to get some other opin­ions . I need to know what the coaches are think­ing and the cap­tains. It is a big year and it would be a bit tough on the lad to think he is go­ing to be some sort of mes­siah com­ing into the team, but he is an ex­cit­ing crick­eter and his hat will be in the ring.

“His skills are good and it is a mas­sive one- day year. At the same time we’ve got a group of play­ers who have per­formed very well for Eng­land so com­pe­ti­tion for those fi nal places is go­ing to be strong.”

Jofra Archer has been play­ing well for Ho­bart in the BBL and is in Eng­land’s sum­mer one- day plans

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