Former spinner Ashley Giles new director of England cricket

Rory Dollard 14/12/2018
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Ashley Giles.

Ashley Giles has been named as the new managing director of England men’s cricket, the England and Wales Cricket Board has announced.

The 45-year-old replaces former England team-mate Andrew Strauss in the role, with the latter having stepped down in October in order to spend more time with his family.

Giles, who will officially start in January ahead of England’s tour of the Caribbean, leaves a similar role at Warwickshire and his appointment means he has represented England as a player, coach and now an administrator.

Giles said: “I am delighted to be joining the ECB and shaping the future of England cricket throughout the men’s game.

“I am very grateful for the opportunity and excited about working with some talented people. The legacy left by Andrew Strauss has put the performance programme in a stable place.

“It is fundamental that I facilitate the great work currently being carried out, meet our objectives and help our sport achieve great things in the coming years both domestically and internationally.”

The former left-arm spinner won 54 Test caps for England, including famously lifting the Ashes urn in 2005, while he played in 62 one-day internationals.

Giles coached England’s limited-overs side for 18 months, reaching the 2013 Champions Trophy final, while he has also enjoyed success as a coach with Warwickshire and Lancashire.

A number of candidates had been mentioned for the ECB post, including Strauss’ predecessor Andy Flower, but Giles got the nod following a month-long formal recruitment process.

ECB chief executive officer Tom Harrison said: “We were fortunate throughout this process to interview some of the most talented and respected people in the game. Ashley was the standout candidate amongst a very strong field. He will bring a fresh perspective to the role and build on the excellent work carried out by Andrew Strauss over the past three and a half years.”

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Ashley Giles to replace Andrew Strauss as new director of England cricket

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Ashley Giles will replace former team-mate Andrew Strauss as the new director of England cricket, according to reports.

The England and Wales cricket Board has been searching for a replacement for Strauss, who quit the job in October in order to spend more time with his family.

A number of candidates have been mentioned, including Strauss’ predecessor, Andy Flower, but reports on Thursday suggested Giles had got the nod with a formal announcement to follow.

If so, it will complete an England hat-trick for the 45-year-old, who occupies a similar role with Warwickshire.

It would mean he has represented England as a player, a coach and an administrator.

He won 54 Test caps for England, including famously lifting the Ashes urn in 2005, while he played in 62 one-day internationals.

Giles coached England’s limited-overs side for 18 months, reaching the 2013 Champions Trophy final, while he has also enjoyed success as a coach with Warwickshire and Lancashire.

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No place for Jofra Archer in England's squads for West Indies tour

Rory Dollard 10/12/2018
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Jofra Archer.

England‘s national selector Ed Smith insisted Jofra Archer’s name did not come up as his panel rubber-stamped two familiar-looking squads for the new year tour of the West Indies, but would not rule out a late dash for the World Cup.

After sealing a memorable 3-0 whitewash in Sri Lanka there was little mystery around the 16-strong Test squad – with the same group that ended the series retained en masse.

That meant no place for Surrey batsmen Ollie Pope and Jason Roy – the former having left Sri Lanka early to join the Lions in the United Arab Emirates while the latter continues waiting for a first opportunity in the longer format – and a reprieve for Kent’s Joe Denly.

The 32-year-old retained his place as top-order cover for the three-match Test series, partially due to his versatility and ability to bowl leg-spin, and has also been included in a 15-man one-day international squad that does not feature recent pace recruit Olly Stone or slow left-armer Liam Dawson.

In the absence of a Smith-inspired wildcard for the Caribbean interest turned to Archer, the 23-year-old from Barbados who appears to be the chief beneficiary of the England and Wales cricket Board’s recently revised eligibility rules.

The Sussex paceman has built a formidable reputation on the domestic Twenty20 circuit and the governing body’s shift from a seven-year residency requirement to three years – one which brings it into line with other major cricketing nations – means Archer could emerge as a bolter ahead of next summer’s home World Cup.

Although keen to stress Archer’s likely availability in March – it might have been earlier had it not been for his Hobart Hurricanes deal in Australia’s Big Bash – was not an agenda item at Monday’s meeting at Lord’s, Smith was clear that could quickly change.

“As it stands now, Jofra Archer was not available so we did not consider him for selection,” he said.

“As a selector, you try and keep things as simple as you possibly can: who is available? Of those available, what’s the strongest possible squad.

“If there are other players that become available and we think they’re worth of consideration, we would consider them.

“To be honest with you, I wouldn’t rule anything out. I don’t really believe in ruling things out. When a decision comes up, just attend to it with as much focus and clarity as you can. Try and get the decisions right one by one.”

England must name a provisional World Cup squad on April 23 and have only a standalone ODI in Ireland plus a five-match home series against Pakistan to finalise preparations for the tournament.

It could be seen as a risk to throw a new face into a group that has blended with great success over the past three-and-a-half years but there could conceivably be one seam bowling spot up for grabs if Wood or the fit-again David Willey falter.

Smith was eager to stress Pope’s demotion was less a statement on his suitability for the Test arena and more about the strength of competition in the middle order and also had encouraging words for Roy.

He could yet find himself involved in the 2019 Ashes having been discussed several times for a red-ball call but must be patient.

“Jason is very talented. We continue to watch his development as an all-round cricketer very closely,” said Smith.

Test squad: J Root (c), M Ali, J Anderson, J Bairstow, S Broad, R Burns, J Buttler (vc), S Curran, J Denly, B Foakes (wkt), K Jennings, J Leach, A Rashid, B Stokes, O Stone, C Woakes.

One-day squad: E Morgan (c), M Ali, J Bairstow, J Buttler (vc, wkt), T Curran, J Denly, A Hales, L Plunkett, A Rashid, J Root, J Roy, B Stokes, D Willey, C Woakes, M Wood.

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