England's spin bowling coach, Mushtaq Ahmed, has left to take over a similar role with the Pakistan Cricket Board after being told by the new England set-up that his services are no longer required.

Ahmed had worked for England for six years and was partly responsible for guiding Graeme Swann through his career as he became regarded as one of the best spin bowlers in World Cricket. Mushy, as he was affectionately known, was well liked within the England dressing room but Moores and Cook feel that there is no room for sentiment as they try and get England back on track this summer.

Mushtaq's departure is yet another in a long list of changes since The Ashes drubbing in the winter. Head coach Andy Flower left his position earlier in the year and has been replaced by Peter Moores, whilst Ashley Giles also left his one-day coaching role following Moores appointment.

Paul Farbrace joined Moores as his assistant, whilst England also took the difficult decision to release Graham Gooch from his contract as a batting coach. James Whittaker has also taken over from Geoff Miller as national selector. Angus Fraser and Mike Newell have joined Whittaker as selectors. This leaves just Bruce French and David Saker left from the original coaching team.

On the playing side England have decided that Kevin Pietersen will not be available for selection and have lost the services of Graeme Swann who decided to retire during The Ashes.

England will hope that all these changes will prove beneficial to the national side as they want to clearly draw a line under their winter performances and start again in a new era with Moores and Cook leading from the front. However, it may take time for the new players and coaches to settle in.

England will now need to find a new spin-bowling coach who can nurture the next England International spinner. Or will they simply decide to use ex-England spinners, such as Peter Such and John Emburey, in advisory roles? It appears that Moores is not too keen on having a large coaching set-up so may prefer the final option.

England do not have a ready made replacement for Swann and in fact will probably use this summer to experiment with the options that they do have. Batsmen such as Joe Root and Moeen Ali will probably be used because of their all-round abilities but England must also look towards a specialist spinner.

Around the counties England are not blessed with a huge amount of spin bowling options and, with the exception of Swann, this has probably been the case for some time now. Monty Panesar, Scott Borthwick, Simon Kerrigan and James Tredwell seem to be the only options at present but I am sure England will be carefully looking at this area of the game as a priority.

England's decision to end Mushtaq's time with them was probably one of the less surprising decisions that has taken place so far this year and I am sure all at the ECB will wish him all the best in his new adventure with Pakistan.

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Topics:
#Graeme Swann
#Kevin Pietersen
#Cricket
#Pakistan cricket
#England cricket