Graves: Strauss will make decision

Published: Monday 11th May 2015 by The News Editor

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Colin Graves says Andrew Strauss will pick England’s new head coach and Sir Ian Botham has told him to make sure it is Jason Gillespie, with Joe Root as his captain.

Former captain Strauss was on Saturday appointed as the new director of English cricket and his first job is to find a replacement for Peter Moores, whose sacking was confirmed half-an-hour after Strauss’ appointment.

Graves, who will start his role as the England and Wales Cricket Board’s chairman on Thursday, has worked with Gillespie at Yorkshire and it has been widely speculated that the Australian is the man he wants to replace Moores.

But Graves says the decision will not be his.

Speaking to the Times, he said: “It is Andrew Strauss who takes that call as he builds his team around him. We will not rush into any decision overnight.

“The decision to sack Peter Moores was not a knee-jerk one and this will not be either. Andrew will have an idea who he has in mind and wants to talk to.

“It is his recommendation and he will bring that to (chief executive) Tom Harrison and then to me.”

Another former captain, Botham, believes Yorkshire’s popular title-winning coach Gillespie should be the man Strauss picks.

That would increase the Yorkshire influence within the ECB and Botham believes Gillespie should not stop there, suggesting he put White Rose batsman Root in charge of the side at Alastair Cook’s expense.

Writing in the Daily Mirror, England’s second-highest Test wicket-taker said: “The shake up that the England cricket team has long needed is under way and the selection of Jason Gillespie as coach would be a perfect fit.

“But he should not be the only new appointment in the dressing room, he should be taking charge alongside Joe Root. It is time for Alastair Cook to move aside and take some of the responsibility for the mistakes that have been made over the last 18 months.

“He has seen off almost all the coaches and management from the debacle Down Under (the 2013 Ashes whitewash), he has seen (former director) Paul Downton come and go and now Peter Moores, yet he is still captain. How does that work?”

Botham believes that Cook should pay the price for being alongside Moores on the recent tour of the West Indies.

“Moores appears to be the man taking the flak and responsibility for what happened in the Caribbean, but didn’t the captain pick the team too?” he added.

“The coach has been axed, part of which is down to a lack of international nous – well, I want to know what Alastair Cook is doing with 100-plus caps worth of Test match experience, because I’m not seeing it.

“Cook is a fine Test batsman but he is not a captain. I would give the job to Root and tell him to mould an attacking team with an attacking coach in Gillespie.”

There has been no suggestion that 40-year-old former Australia international Gillespie would want the job, and a week ago he turned down the chance to apply for a full-time position to continue his work with Yorkshire and the Adelaide Strikers.

His name continues to be mentioned, though, and his disciplining of England international Liam Plunkett for missing a Yorkshire training session on Saturday has won him further admirers.

“I have got a lot of time for Jason and he is the outstanding candidate for the job,” Botham said.

“I think we would be lucky to have him coach and manage our players.”

Moores’ former assistant Paul Farbrace will take charge of England’s forthcoming series with New Zealand and formerly served as an assistant to Gillespie at Yorkshire.

Consequently England wicket-keeper Jonny Bairstow knows both men well and told the Guardian: “Both Gillespie and Farbrace have different qualities. They’ve made huge improvements here, topped off by us winning the Championship. I’m sure whether they get the job or don’t, they’ll bring their good qualities to English cricket.”

Published: Monday 11th May 2015 by The News Editor

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