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Cricket news - Giles doesn't want Bayliss's successor hunt to distract from Ashes
Ashley Giles, Director of England's men's cricket, has begun "relaxed" conversations with potential candidates for the role of England's new head coach but does not want the search for Trevor Bayliss' successor to distract from the Ashes.
Bayliss' contract is up at the end of this summer and he has already confirmed his intention to step down from the role after four years in charge. However, England travel to New Zealand just four weeks after the end of the Ashes, leaving precious little time for a permanent head coach to be appointed ahead of that series.
Given the tight timeline, Giles is not ruling out a caretaker coach for the New Zealand tour - although it will not be Bayliss - and he has had conversations with potential candidates for the permanent position. "I can say I've had some conversations with people but very relaxed conversations over a coffee or over the phone," he said. "I'm naturally going to be feeling people out a little bit on the position but nothing formal, nothing public and that process will continue for me to get to know some of these people."
"We're not trying to lessen the importance of that [New Zealand] series but it's not in the World Test Championship and I've always said if you looked at the World Cup and the Ashes it was far more important to have some stability now and less noise and chatter around the new head coach."
The tour to New Zealand, consisting of two Tests and five T20Is, could become an audition for whoever is put in charge with strong performances and positive feedback from the players likely to stand any caretaker head coach in good stead should they want to be considered for the permanent job, one which will entail leading the team across all three formats. However, Giles confirmed that Bayliss would not be considered as a stop gap.
"I think Trev's done and I mean that in the nicest possible way," he added when asked whether Bayliss might take charge of the New Zealand series. "Trev's really looking forward to this series, he seems to have relaxed a little bit. He may seem always horizontal on the outside but he cares a lot and he's had some sleepless nights through this summer.
"He's a good guy and I think he's done it the right way. He's set himself a goal of getting to the end of this Ashes and then letting someone else take over. Hopefully he can hand over on the back of a great summer and the World Cup and Ashes would be unprecedented."
Whoever is in charge for the trip, they may do so without a number of players who could be rested for part of the tour. Surprisingly, the two Test matches are not included in the World Test Championship and as such, England may take the opportunity to rest some of their multi-format players with tours to South Africa and Sri Lanka also part of their winter schedule. "We need to be careful with some of the workloads but we'll take a look at that after the Ashes," Giles said.
Chris Silverwood, the current bowling coach, is one internal candidate to succeed Bayliss but although Giles admitted it would be "nice" for an English head coach to be appointed, the ECB will be looking to hire the best candidate regardless of nationality. A successful Ashes series would certainly not harm Silverwood's chances but neither would defeat of Australia guarantee any coach currently involved with the England team the head coach job.
"No, it emphasises the importance of getting the right person still," Giles said. "But the importance also of getting someone who can fit with the culture that is really developing well in the team," Giles said. "Having a coach who fits with what we're trying to do in the dressing-room but is still his own man doing what he wants to is a fine balance to strike but it's important."
As well as the new head coach, the future of limited overs captain Eoin Morgan is also still to be resolved. The 32 year-old said after the World Cup victory that he would take some time out to consider his future but no decision has yet been made as to whether he might carry on. Giles did, however, suggest that Morgan had plenty still to offer England's white-ball teams.
"I've not talked to him yet and I've done that quite purposely," Giles said. I want to give him some time. We're two weeks on from the World Cup. He's still probably got to come back down to earth, do some thinking and then we'll get together and have a chat.
"He's shown himself to as a fantastic leader of this team and he's not that old. There's a four-year cycle towards the next World Cup but we've got two T20 WCs in that time and leadership is very important as was shown."
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