After dealing with Pietersen, England supremo Andrew Strauss still has many pressing issues

By Steve Douglas


Three days into his job as director of English cricket and Andrew Strauss has already showed he won’t be afraid to make huge decisions to shake up the country’s troubled national game.

By firing head coach Peter Moores and keeping Kevin Pietersen banished from the England team, Strauss is demonstrating he isn’t as conservative as many feared he would be.

There’s still much for Strauss to do if he is to restore the fortunes of English cricket, with an Ashes series less than two months away.

Here are the top things in his in-tray:



England has never had an Australian as coach but that could be about to change _ just in time for the Ashes.

Former Australia paceman Jason Gillespie is the favourite to replace Moores after leading Yorkshire from the second tier of the English county game to champions in three years.

Strauss has said Gillespie is a candidate, although Yorkshire director of cricket Martyn Moxon said Wednesday there has been no approach yet for his coach. “I think as far as international coaching is concerned, it will be when rather than if,” Moxon said of Gillespie.

Two more Australians, Justin Langer and Tom Moody, are potential candidates, while the current temporary England coach, Paul Farbrace, could also come into contention if he impresses in the upcoming two-test series against New Zealand.

Strauss says the new coach _ English or foreign _ will have an “over-arching” role in charge of both the test and ODI teams, and a philosophy that needs to be aligned with Strauss and “the best interests of English cricket.” Strauss calls it “one of the top two coaching jobs in world cricket.”

Strauss wants the new person hired in time for the Ashes, which starts on July 8.


While England’s test team remains competitive, if not the force it was three years ago, its ODI side is a shambles and needs radical change.

Strauss has kept Eoin Morgan as captain despite his poor form and failing to guide England out of its group at the Cricket World Cup. England hasn’t reached the semifinals since 1992.

“Look at our performances over the last five years in one-day cricket, sorry World Cups, and we have been well off the pace,” Strauss says, “and I want to make sure we are not well off the pace at the next World Cup.”

That will involve developing “a strategy that keeps us ahead of the curve in international cricket,” and is likely to mean picking more specialist limited-overs players, deploying more aggressive tactics, and overhauling the domestic ODI and Twenty20 leagues to set up a better pathway to the international team.


Strauss says the England and Wales Cricket Board has “massive trust issues” with Pietersen but the English public is running out of faith with England’s cricket hierarchy, too.

Leaders _ be it coaches, captains, or executives _ are changing seemingly every month, and it is hard to argue against Pietersen’s view that the ECB has been “deceitful” in its treatment of him. There is more sympathy than ever for Pietersen. Strauss wants to “broaden the audience” in English cricket but has just dispensed of the services of its most exciting player.

English cricket needs stability, accountability and, most important, victories.


The biggest thing for England this summer is the Ashes series, and there are two months to fill holes in the test team before Australia arrives.

Strauss says he will be part of the selection process, so needs to decide who opens with Alastair Cook now that Jonathan Trott has retired, who to choose as allrounder out of Moeen Ali and Ben Stokes, and who the team’s spinner is going to be.

Will they trust Adil Rashid, who wasn’t used in the West Indies despite being the leading wicket-taking spinner in England last season? Rashid took match figures of 8-118 for Yorkshire in its county championship win over Hampshire this week, his first appearance since returning from the Caribbean.

It will also be important to map out the short-term plans of James Anderson to ensure England’s record wicket-taker and one world-class bowler doesn’t get burnt out.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *