England managing director of Men’s cricket Rob Key has explained why he is looking to appoint separate head coaches for Test and white-ball cricket.
Key was named as Ashley Giles’ replacement last month and though he has already named Ben Stokes as England’s new Test captain, is yet to appoint permanent successors for Chris Silverwood, who left his role after the Ashes defeat.
He has confirmed that he has separated the position into two roles, a Test head coach and one for the white-ball formats, and explained why in a recent interview with former England skipper Nasser Hussain for Sky Sports.
Key said: “There are lots of different reasons but probably one of the main reasons is because England’s schedule going forward is very busy.
“It’s not too bad if you’re the Test match coach because you will get a bit of time to prepare, plan, and have a bit of time off.
“If you’re a Test match cricketer it’s not that jam-packed but if you’re one of the multi-format players or a coach doing it all, it is literally jump on a plane go somewhere, and then a week later you’re starting a different format.”
He added: “The other point is that I think you get a better list of candidates wanting to go for the job. There are a lot of people, I think, that would be more interested.
“I’ve never appointed an England coach before so I can’t speak categorically but I would say it’s a pretty good field of candidates we’ve got and nearly all of them have said they wouldn’t be going for it if it was one job.
“You want the best people and you build the structure around them.”
There have been suggestions that there could be friction between the two coaches over which team takes priority when it comes to multi-format players but Key has indicated it’s down to him to ensure that’s not a problem.
He said: “I’ve been very open and honest with coaches at the start that [not always having your best players] is part of the deal. I’m sure that won’t be an issue but that’s for me to manage, to make sure that the relationship between the two coaches works.”
Among the names linked with the job have been the likes of Ricky Ponting and Mahela Jayawardena, both of whom have IPL coaching roles.
Key indicated that he would be open to hiring a coach that would also coach in the IPL.
He explained: “No, it isn’t [a problem] if they’re the best person. You have to move with the times, don’t you?
“I don’t see why Jos Buttler can play the whole of the IPL but a coach couldn’t.
“At the moment, there’s no international cricket on during the IPL so I don’t see that as an issue in the day and age we live in.”
Key added: “I would much rather have the best person for 10 months of the year than someone not as good for 12.”
It is unclear when the new England head coaches will be appointed but there is not long to go until the start of the international summer, which kicks off with the start of the first of three Tests against New Zealand at Lord’s on the 2nd of June.