Ashley Giles insists he is still in contention for the England job after his hopes were dented by England’s T20 humiliation against Holland.
After a disaster of an Ashes campaign, and an equally poor series against the West Indies, there was a feeling things could not get much worse for England. That was before they were defeated by the Netherlands – and not just defeated, but utterly, and resoundingly humbled.
Unsurprisingly, the spotlight was on Giles after an evening where Ravi Bopara was the excelling batsman with a grand total of 18.
Former England fast bowler Steve Harmison has backed Giles for the post even after the Holland result. In reality, whether Giles is the ideal candidate to take the side forward or not, the England job at present is one of the least desirable in world cricket.
If the Ashes was poor, whoever is chosen to lead England must go into the summer series’ against Sri Lanka and India without the retired Graeme Swann, and the unforgivably excluded Kevin Pietersen. They must also contend with Stuart Broad looking increasingly irritated at his team mates’ inability to field properly.
Tom Moody and Mickey Arthur have both publicly stated their interest, but the ECB are rumoured to favour Giles because of his experience within the camp. When that camp is a poisoned one, however, England would perhaps benefit from bringing in an outsider.
In and around the England side, there remain those in opposition to Giles’ potential appointment. One such man is Michael Carberry, who has unleashed a torrent of venom towards Giles’ coaching techniques.
The Hampshire all-rounder has slammed his man-management skills, and in a move that is unlikely to endear him to the scheming politicians of the ECB, he has come out in support of Kevin Pietersen.
Having crashed out of the T20 World Cup in what has become typically calamitous England style, they now have a chance to regroup and move on from what will go down in history as one of the worst winters in England’s history. A winter of discontent, if you will.
Giles has been limited overs coach since 2012, when Andy Flower quit the role to focus on Test cricket. The ECB have confirmed they are looking to return to a format of having one man to lead England in all forms of the game, which would give Giles a head start above fellow candidates.
One head coach is essential if the dressing room is to rid itself of its reputation as a cesspit of factions and disputes.
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