The Ashes tour is finally over. Thank goodness for that. The tour has been nothing short of a disaster for nearly everyone involved and has now left England with a huge task of rebuilding their defeated side and management.
Andy Flower's departure, whilst not surprising, has left England's hierarchy with a major headache. England and Wales Cricket Board Chairman Giles Clarke has the task of finding a coach that will rebuild a side shattered by their Ashes debacle.
Ashley Giles, already the One-Day International coach, looks to be the favourite due to his current involvement with the team. Giles knows the current players and will be aware of the issues affecting the squad. He will also know about the county scene and any up and coming youngsters who could be given an opportunity in the future.
Giles was a crucial part of the Ashes winning side in 2005 so knows what it takes to win a series against Australia. England will now start to rebuild for their home series with Australia in 2015 so Giles' experience will be crucial. With the assumption that the new coach will take over all three aspects of the International game will favour Giles as he is already in charge of the One-Day side.
Unfortunately for Giles he has been part of the most recent disasters and this may not do him any favours when Flowers' successor is discussed as Giles may not be able to offer a fresh approach which is undoubtedly required. If England choose to look for an English successor then Mick Newell.
Nottinghamshire's current Coach and County Cricket's longest-serving Coach, could be in with a chance. He has achieved success on the County circuit and has worked with a number of England players at Nottinghamshire. However, Newell has no experience of coaching at International and did not have the best relationship with Kevin Pietersen during his brief spell at Trent Bridge.
If England look to continue the trend of appointing a foreign coach then there are a few options they may wish to look at. Gary Kirsten, Tom Moody and Graham Ford could all be in the reckoning for the job.
Kirsten was very successful in his time coaching India and a South Africa. He guided both sides to World number one during his tenures and also won the 2011 World Cup with India.
Tom Moody has a huge amount of experience and success in England with Worcestershire, particularly as a player. He guided Sri Lanka to the 2007 World Cup but has not been in a full time coaching role for four years so this may go against him.
Ford has just agreed to coach Surrey for three years and has also experienced coaching in England with Kent. Internationally he has experience with South Africa and Sri Lanka. He is perhaps the most experienced coach in the running but may feel that the England job has come at the wrong time given his commitment to Surrey.
Could Yorkshire's Australian coach Jason Gillespie be an outside bet for the job?
England have to make a tough choice but for me Giles is the front runner at present. Whoever is appointed England must not forget the service that Flower gave to the role. He guided England to success, particularly in Ashes cricket, and built a very strong side, which has only recently been dismantled in dramatic fashion.
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