By Jack Bezants
THE ASSOCIATED PRESS
LONDON _ England hired Trevor Bayliss as its new head cricket coach on Tuesday, and the Australian’s first task will be to recapture the Ashes against his native country.
The 52-year-old Bayliss never played international cricket for Australia but has had success around the world as a coach.
He led Sri Lanka to the 2011 World Cup final, won the Indian Premier League twice at the helm of Kolkata Knight Riders and has coached New South Wales, the side he departs for England, to two Sheffield Shield titles in Australia. He has also won the Australian Big Bash and Champions League with the Sydney Sixers.
“It is an honour to be appointed England coach,” Bayliss said. “What particularly excites me about the role is the chance to work with a very talented group of players. I firmly believe that the team has a bright future and I’ll be doing everything I can to help them realize their potential and achieve success on a consistent basis.”
England is currently halfway through a two-test series against New Zealand, which it leads 1-0. Bayliss will begin his tenure with the opening Ashes test on July 8, in Cardiff, with England looking to avenge its 5-0 whitewash from 2013-14.
With a proven track record in the white ball format of the game, Bayliss will also be tasked with rejuvenating the side for one-day and T20 fixtures.
England disappointed at the World Cup earlier this year, eliminated in the group stage of the competition in Australia and New Zealand with four defeats in six games.
There are three major upcoming tournaments in the shorter editions of cricket that Bayliss will look to galvanize England for. The World T20 is in India in 2016, before the ICC Champions Trophy in 2017 and the Cricket World Cup in 2019, which will both be held in England and Wales.
“There’s a great opportunity to help (test and one-day captains) Alastair Cook and Eoin Morgan shape the direction and development of their respective teams,” Bayliss said.
England and Wales Cricket Board director Andrew Strauss spoke of Bayliss’ success in limited overs cricket as a distinguishing factor in searching for a replacement for Peter Moores, who Strauss fired as head coach.
“His expertise in the shorter forms of the game will be vital,” Strauss said. “Trevor has an outstanding record as coach, has global experience and is very highly regarded in the game. He has proved himself in both domestic and international cricket, has a strong reputation for man-management and has shown how to build winning teams in all three formats.”
Paul Farbrace, England’s temporary coach following the dismissal of Moores, was the No. 2 to Bayliss with Sri Lanka and will be an assistant coach when he takes over with England.