Chris Silverwood has emerged as a leading candidate to become England’s next head coach, a job Ashley Giles is “99.9 per cent” certain will not be split into two positions.
Giles is in charge of appointing Trevor Bayliss’ replacement when his contract ends in September, having replaced Andrew Strauss as managing director of men’s cricket in December, and has already made several key decisions about the process.
Crucially he favours one person remaining in overall charge across formats, rather than the division between red- and white-ball specialists that he experienced alongside Andy Flower between 2012 and 2014.
A new structure will then see a support team of three assistants working underneath the head coach, who will be permitted time away from the team to avoid an unbearable workload.
The main question, though, concerns the identity of Bayliss’ eventual heir and Giles suggested one of the Australian’s current deputies, Silverwood, has a strong chance.
The 43-year-old fast bowling coach started working with the national side just over a year ago, having done sterling work in charge of Essex – winning a promotion and a County Championship in successive seasons.
“We have internal candidates, yes, and I think ‘Spoons’ (Silverwood) would be one of them,” said Giles. “That is pleasing because there would be a concern that we just have to go outside.
“We see the same names being bandied around – some very good names and some very good coaches – but having experience of seeing what Spoons did at Essex, it was a remarkable turnaround.
“They were a bit of a shambles and he came in and in two years turned them around completely. He’s got a very nice way about him but he’s a tough bloke, has a fair amount of discipline and communicates really well.
“Some guys are really strong in connecting with the dressing room but don’t naturally lead well because it takes a different set of skills, but I think Chris Silverwood could do it.”
There have been a series of overseas options touted, including Ottis Gibson, Tom Moody, Gary Kirsten, Mickey Arthur and Stephen Fleming, but Giles would be delighted if the best solution was a homegrown one.
“We need the best bloke to do it but it would be nice at some point for us to have an English head coach,” he said.
“We’ve had one absolute head coach – I was white-ball only – in about 20 years and he (Peter Moores) has done it twice.
“That’s not great for our coach development. I’m a bit of a romantic but not so much that it has to be (English). We’ve got to get the right man for the job.”
Giles also suggested he would be prepared to wait and install an interim coach to avoid the succession distracting from this summer’s World Cup and Ashes double-header.
Outlining his plans for the process, he said: “I’ll put my cards on the table: My feelings now are 99.9 per cent that we should have one coach.
“I see it as one guy in charge – and be prepared for time off – and perhaps three assistant coaches, not just one, that help share the burden. The top man has different voices to go to and we’ll see the start of that shape going into World Cup.
“But what I don’t want is for it to get in the way of such a big summer. If we have to wait until the end of the Ashes, if we need interim, that might be way to go. What we can’t let it do is upset this period.
The imminent departure of assistant coach Paul Farbrace to Warwickshire will not lead to any new short-term appointments, with Silverwood, Paul Collingwood and Graham Thorpe working as a triumvirate beneath Bayliss until the end of the World Cup.