Ashley Giles has been appointed as Lancashire’s boss following the county’s relegation to Division Two.
There had been uncertainty surrounding the position since Red Rose veteran Mike Watkinson stepped aside as director of cricket, though this season, the actual coaching duties had largely been fulfilled by player-coach Glen Chapple.
Though Chapple will no longer be in charge of the first team, Giles has made it clear that his appointment does not spell the end of the veteran’s time with Lancashire, as there will be a role for him in some capacity.
Giles, who was part of the 2005 England side that won the Ashes for the first time in almost 20 years, has himself found it difficult to break back into domestic cricket since leaving his post as the national side’s limited-overs coach earlier this year.
The 41-year-old has the chance to rebuild his reputation after the Three Lions’ humiliation at the T20 World Cup, which culminated in a defeat to the Netherlands.
Despite that disappointment, he expressed an interest in taking on the England role across all formats, but was turned down in favour of the current incumbent Peter Moores.
Since the end of the County Championship season, he had also been linked with the Somerset post, though that has since been filled by Matthew Maynard.
Giles was the favourite for the job at Emirates Old Trafford, and that post will be a tough one; his first task will be raising the morale of a side relegated after just one season back in the top flight.
Having taken control of Warwickshire after their demotion seven years ago, Giles has plenty of experience to guide Lancashire back to the heights of Division One.
However, speaking to The Daily Telegraph, he aimed to temper those aspirations, explaining: “Promotion is important but we have got to manage expectations. The most important thing is putting stuff in place that is long lasting and that is going to be successful over a long period not quick fix.”
The first priority will be to strengthen the Lightning’s ailing bowling attack, though that could be problematic considering the number of counties – including those in Division One - who are on the lookout in that department.