Trevor Bayliss has completed his work as England’s head coach after four years at the helm.
Here, the PA news agency looks at those who might be vying to replace him.
England’s pace bowling coach is the leading candidate among Bayliss’ existing staff, though Graham Thorpe may be interested too. He ticks key boxes as both a homegrown option and one with tangible success on his CV, having won both divisions of the County Championship with Essex.
A former Test captain with gravitas and experience to burn. As director of cricket at Surrey he has an exhaustive knowledge of the county game. Whether or not he is willing and able to take on the demands of the job is unclear.
Well versed in the international game after stints in charge of both the West Indies and South Africa and has enjoyed two separate spells as England’s pace bowling coach. Would need to persuade the ECB that he has fresh ideas.
Like Gibson a seasoned campaigner on the global circuit but, after spells as boss of South Africa, Australia and Pakistan, could be deemed stale.
Highly fancied to get the job when interviewed four years ago only for Andrew Strauss to opt for Bayliss. England may baulk at going for two Australians in a row and, though respected, his work at Sussex has not been as successful as his prior engagement at Yorkshire.
And the ones who are otherwise engaged
The ECB have recently appointed eight head coaches for the inaugural season of The Hundred next year. Of those Gary Kirsten, Tom Moody, Andrew McDonald and Stephen Fleming might all have been possible options for the England job.
Copy provided by Press Association Sport
England ended their memorable summer by earning a 2-2 draw in the Ashes with a 135-run defeat of Australia in the fifth Test.
On a beautifully sunny day at The Oval, England set Australia 399 to win and bowled them out for 263 to square the contest with their oldest enemies in a year when they lifted the World Cup for the first time.
Australia retain the urn they won in 2017-18 but miss out on a first series win in England since 2001, while an Ashes series is drawn for the first time in 47 years.
Here are how the England players rated during the course of the five-Test series, according to PA.
Rory Burns: His 390 runs in the series made him easily the standout opener of the summer. Started with a century at Edgbaston and made two more 50s as he faced down Australia’s short-ball tactics. Caught well. 8
Jason Roy: England hoped to transplant his one-day brilliance into the Test team but the experiment was an unequivocal failure before he was axed at his home ground. 2
Joe Denly: Did not look up to standard at the start of the series but knuckled down impressively, even after being shunted up to opener from number four. Signed off with a career-best 94 at The Oval. 6
Joe Root: Three ducks and four half-centuries are a middling return for the team’s leading batsman. Root judges himself by the highest standards and will not be pleased by the lack of a major score. The first England captain not to lift the urn at home since 2001. 5
Ben Stokes: Where else to start but his contender for greatest Test innings of all time at Headingley? Only Steve Smith scored more than his 441 at an average of 55.12 and his hard-working seamers brought eight wickets too. 9
Jos Buttler: Three extremely poor Tests followed by two much-improved efforts at Old Trafford and The Oval. Looks to have learned lessons but his Test cricket lags well behind his one-day brilliance. 5
Jonny Bairstow: Averaged 23.77 with a top score of 52 and seems to be in a rut against the red ball. Kept wicket better than his opposite number, Tim Paine, but might not have done enough to hold off Ben Foakes’ claims. 4
Jofra Archer: A stone-cold superstar. Followed his World Cup winner’s medal with 22 wickets at 20.27 in his first major Test series and bowled some utterly spell-binding bursts of extreme pace. 8
Chris Woakes: Curiously under-used by Root at times and not always at his best when called upon. Might have played fewer games had injuries not hit the bowling ranks. 5
Jack Leach: Catapulted into a high-pressure environment after Moeen Ali was dropped, and became a fan favourite for his brilliant supporting role to Stokes’ miracle in Leeds. Finished on a high with four wickets in the final innings of the series but must look to improve his left-arm spin. 6
Stuart Broad: Rolled back the years after being asked to lead the attack in James Anderson’s absence. Dominated David Warner and finished as England’s leading wicket-taker with 23. 8
Sam Curran: Man of the series against India last summer but only rolled out at the last moment. A bright future awaits and he will be unlucky to be left out on home soil next year. 5
Moeen Ali: Dropped after a poor show in the series opener, during which he made four runs in two innings and failed to make the most of a turning Edgbaston pitch. 2
Craig Overton: A surprising pick in the crucial fourth Test after 18 months out of the squad. Bowled heartily without much menace and batted stoically in a vain attempt to save the game. 4
James Anderson: Injured his right calf after bowling just four overs on the first morning in what will surely be his final Ashes campaign. Should England have checked his fitness with more rigour? N/A
England hold a handy lead in the final Ashes Test following inspiration from Jofra Archer and a rare misjudgement from the relentless Steve Smith.
The hosts, bidding to avoid a first series defeat to Australia on home soil since 2001, will resume on day three at The Oval with a 78-run advantage.
Archer was instrumental in Friday’s dismantling of the tourists, taking six for 62, while Smith’s air of invincibility was cracked slightly by Chris Woakes’ lbw dismissal.
New father Joe Denly and Rory Burns survived four dicey overs before stumps to extend a first-innings lead of 69 by nine.
Paceman Archer believes a stunning catch from Burns to remove Peter Siddle, which ended Australia’s innings and earned his sixth wicket, could prove to be a pivotal moment in England’s quest to secure a 2-2 series draw.
“It was a special catch and it was even better to get us off the field,” said Archer.
“Sometimes if you don’t get them they come back tomorrow and get another 30-40 runs, so I don’t think we should underestimate how good that catch was and the position it puts us in.
“We can take that momentum now and hopefully build our lead.”
Every other batsman in this low-scoring series would have been more than happy with Smith’s knock of 80 on Friday. But for Australia’s masterful number four that represented his lowest contribution of a campaign in which he has piled on 751 runs at an average north of 125.
The 30-year-old, whose side were all out for 225, will hope to feel a little fresher the next time he takes to the crease, having battled on with a minor illness.
“I’ve been struggling a little bit, I’ve got a little bit of the flu,” Smith said after the unusual experience of not conquering all before him.
“I was loading up on the cold and flu medicine and just tried to stay as focused as I could be, but unfortunately I couldn’t bat with the tail for as long as I would have liked.”
Archer’s impressive figures were fitting reward for persistently hostile fast bowling that left no margin for error.
He has enjoyed some wonderful exchanges with Smith in recent weeks and sensed his rival’s equilibrium was off, even though he managed to produce the top score of the game.
Told of Smith’s predicament, Archer said: “Fair enough…I knew there was something.
“To be honest, he didn’t look himself, he didn’t look as nailed-on as he usually is. I guess we did bowl well but he didn’t seem the same way.
“But it’s weird, you know? Every time he bats, I don’t know what it is – he literally cannot get out.
“If he plays a bad shot, the ball just lands in no-man’s land. The whole series. Obviously he’s a good batter, he’s got a good temperament, but I just don’t know what it is. The ball just never goes to hand.”