Ashley Giles has stepped down as an England selector with immediate effect after a turbulent winter with the national side.
Nottinghamshire director of cricket Mick Newell has taken his place with the ECB, having narrowly missed out after being interviewed for the position of head coach.
While those at Trent Bridge will lament the departure of one of the most influential coaches in their history, Newell’s popularity with the ECB is unsurprising considering his staggering success at domestic level, which includes two County Championship titles on top of last season’s Yorkshire Bank 40 trophy.
Indeed, Newell, who has described his new post as a “tremendous privilege”, had actually been favourite to succeed Andy Flower before that role was handed – for the second time – to Peter Moores. As well as his duties with Notts, Newell has coached the England Lions in the past, as well as the under-19s.
Yet, the decision to overlook Giles, who presided over England’s dismal limited overs campaigns, including their early exit from the T20 World Cup, appears to have been a step too far for the former Warwickshire spinner, who has now stepped aside. Giles himself must be wondering how, within less than four months, he has gone from his country’s potential saviour to appearing close to exiting international cricket altogether.
Giles had been part of England’s four-man selection panel since 2008, but now looks increasingly like a man spurned. He was openly criticised by Hampshire opener Michael Carberry, who hit out after several spats between the pair during the winter Ashes in Australia, and also hinted at Giles’ role in the dismissal of the popular Kevin Pietersen.
Newell will take his place on the panel alongside Moores, James Whitaker and Angus Fraser. Questions will be raised, though, about if Giles’ decision is simply one of pettiness, or whether he genuinely feels now is the right time to resign.
In the light of Carberry’s comments, it is also unclear to what extent Giles will be missed by those within the England camp. The World Cup in Bangladesh was not only his big opportunity to stake his claim for the vacant head coach’s role, but essentially, it was also the players’ last chance to play for him if they wanted him in charge of the Test side. It appears the fall-out from their latest series of humiliations is not quite over.
The shock defeat to the Netherlands that sent England hurtling out of the tournament proved that perhaps Giles was not destined for the hot seat, and neither would the side feel aggrieved if that turned out to be the case.
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