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Ben Stokes has positive talks with Rob Key over England Test captaincy as search begins for separate red and white-ball head coaches | Cricket News

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Gary Kirsten and Graham Ford express interest in England head coach roles, with Simon Katich also a candidate; Ricky Ponting and former Australia coach Justin Langer not in contention, Sky Sports News understands; Ben Stokes expected to succeed Joe Root as Test captain

Last Updated: 26/04/22 6:37pm




Ben Stokes has held positive talks with England’s new managing director of men’s cricket Rob Key

Rob Key has held positive talks with Ben Stokes about the all-rounder replacing Joe Root as England Test captain, while the new managing director has begun his hunt for split red and white-ball head coaches for the men’s team.

Stokes’ appointment as Test captain could be confirmed before the end of the week. Stokes wants the job and is the only credible candidate after Root’s resignation following the Test series loss in the West Indies.

Meanwhile the England and Wales Cricket Board has placed a job advertisement which confirms that two head coaches will be appointed, one for Test cricket and another for the limited-overs formats.


England previously had two separate head coaches between 2012 and 2014, with Andy Flower at the helm for red-ball cricket and Ashley Giles in charge of the white-ball sides.


Chris Silverwood departed as England head coach after the 4-0 Ashes thrashing this winter, with Paul Collingwood taking charge on an interim basis for the 1-0 Test series defeat in the West Indies in March.

Chris Silverwood departed as England head coach after The Ashes and is now in charge of Sri Lanka

Chris Silverwood departed as England head coach after The Ashes and is now in charge of Sri Lanka

The job advert says that the new head coaches will “play a central role in selecting the team for their respective format alongside a national selection panel.”

The role of national selector was previously abolished in 2021 with Ed Smith leaving the ECB and then-coach Silverwood charged with heading up player selection.

The deadline for applications for the head coach roles is May 6 with first-stage interviews set to take place on May 9 and 10.

Key will outline his vision for England’s national teams when he speaks to the media on Thursday.

Kirsten, Ford express interest; Ponting, Langer not in frame

Gary Kirsten - who coached South Africa and India to the top of the ICC Test rankings - is a contender for the red-ball role

Gary Kirsten – who coached South Africa and India to the top of the ICC Test rankings – is a contender for the red-ball role

Sky Sports News understands that Key, whose appointment as successor to Giles as England MD was confirmed on Easter Sunday, has not yet made any official approaches to coaches but that contenders are emerging.

Former India and South Africa head coach Gary Kirsten – who was interviewed by England in 2019 ahead of Silverwood’s appointment – and ex-Surrey, Sri Lanka and Ireland coach Graham Ford – who Key worked under at Kent – have expressed their interest.

Kirsten said recently that he would be keen to coach England in Test cricket.

Former Australia batter Simon Katich is also in contention.

The 46-year-old, who lives in England, has extensive knowledge of county cricket after stints as a player with Lancashire, Yorkshire, Hampshire, Durham and Derbyshire.

Like Kirsten, Katich is a current coach in The Hundred – he coaches Manchester Originals while Kirsten is with Welsh Fire – and has experience coaching in the Indian Premier League.

Justin Langer recently coached Australia to Ashes and T20 World Cup glory - but is not viewed as a contender for either of the England jobs

Justin Langer recently coached Australia to Ashes and T20 World Cup glory – but is not viewed as a contender for either of the England jobs

Sky Sports News understands that Australian duo Ricky Ponting and Justin Langer are not in the frame for either of the head coach positions being advertised.

Langer guided Australia to the T20 World Cup title and Ashes glory over the winter but then left his role earlier this year after turning down a short-term extension amid reports that some players were unhappy with his coaching methods.

England begin their Test summer against New Zealand at Lord’s from June 2, with the white-ball side back in action in a one-day international series in the Netherlands starting on June 17.

Durham director of cricket, Marcus North, has backed Ben Stokes for the role of England Test captain

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Durham director of cricket, Marcus North, has backed Ben Stokes for the role of England Test captain

Durham director of cricket, Marcus North, has backed Ben Stokes for the role of England Test captain

What the ECB is looking for from its head coaches

The job advertisement read: “These roles are responsible for developing world-class England men’s teams in both red and white-ball cricket and ensuring sustained success both at home and abroad.

“The roles will carry additional responsibility for developing a playing style and culture that inspires future generations of players and supporters.”

The ECB is looking for people who can “develop a high-performance culture that drives outstanding performance, on an off the field, ensuring England teams are capable of winning consistently in all formats, home and away” and form “effective working relationships with all of the counties, drawing on the expertise and experience of coaches from around the country.”

International coaching experience is seen as “desirable”.





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