Where does English cricket go from here?
That is the question being asked by cricket pundits and fans up and down the country after a catastrophic winter which culminated in England losing to minnows the Netherlands at the Twenty20 World Cup.
Things could arguably have not gone worse for Stuart Broad’s side in Australia, the Caribbean and at this T20 World Cup, but England managed to exceed even their own bad form as the Dutch comprehensively swept aside England by 45 runs.
The defeat left Ashley Giles, who is the 11/10 favourite to be England’s next head coach, facing awkward questions regarding his own future.
Reports have been gathering that the former left-arm spinner is the man the ECB have chosen to start a new era for English cricket but since he took over coaching England’s limited-overs side have lost 13 out of 20 matches.
This sort of form is not inspiring much confidence in the man who led Warwickshire to the County Championship in 2012 and despite his own claims that he is the best man for the job, doubts still remain.
Part of the issue for the men that run the English game is a lack of competition for the top job with Gary Kirsten ruling himself out because he could not pick Kevin Pietersen.
The South African, who guided India to World Cup glory and to the top of the Test rankings, was a strong contender for the post but after his withdrawal Giles faces competition from former coach Peter Moores and Nottinghamshire’s Mick Newell.
Moores, who is 4/1 with Ladbrokes, has rebuilt his career since a row with Pietersen cost him the England job in 2009, while Newell, on at 8/1, is a respected county coach but possibly lacks the credentials for an international post.
England also look to have added Australian Trevor Bayliss to their shortlist and he is 5/2 with the bookie to land the role after successful spells with New South Wales, Kolkata Knight Riders and Sri Lanka at international level.
Whatever direction the ECB go in they must act fast to draw a line under a winter where the team lost 18 out of 25 games and make a fresh start with a new coach and new ideas – unfortunately on the evidence of the last few months that man may not be Giles.
All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.
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