Andrew Strauss, the man who appointed Trevor Bayliss during his stint as England’s director of men’s cricket, has said that the lack of English coaches at the highest levels of the game is a concern for the sport, and believes that The Hundred has missed an opportunity to advance the careers of some of the best home-grown candidates.

Strauss, who stood down from his role late last year to care for his wife Ruth in the last months of her fight with a rare form of lung cancer, also believes that the demands of England’s schedule across all three formats are “too much” for one man to manage alone. He added that his successor in the role, Ashley Giles, will have to factor in the attractiveness of short-term coaching gigs in franchise T20 cricket.

Bayliss, who joined the England set-up ahead of the Ashes in 2015, was appointed very much on the strength of his success in white-ball cricket, where he enjoyed trophy-winning stints with Sydney Sixers in the Big Bash and Kolkata Knight Riders in the IPL.

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He duly lived up to his primary expectation by helping to transform England’s white-ball fortunes from the misery of the 2015 World Cup to the glory in the final of the 2019 tournament, against New Zealand at Lord’s last month. However, in Test cricket, England’s standards have failed to progess, with last week’s defeat in the first Test against Australia being their sixth in their last seven Ashes encounters.

“For Trevor to win the World Cup, that is an extraordinary feather in his cap,” Strauss said. “He has been a fantastic England coach, he has been a great man and you speak to the guys who have played under him and they all have huge respect for him as a person and you can’t ask for more than that.

“He will be slightly frustrated that the Test team has not progressed as much as he would have liked. But considering the long-term trend in England cricket, my argument would be that a coach can only do so much. But we’ve got to do more to prepare players to perform away from home in particular, and that is a systemic thing rather than something that the coach has full control over.”

With the exception of two truncated stints from Peter Moores, England have not had a long-term English head coach for two decades, with Duncan Fletcher (1999 to 2007) and Andy Flower (2009 to 2014) taking charge of the team’s fortunes with some notable success, particularly in Test cricket.

And though Strauss believes that the likes of Chris Silverwood and Paul Collingwood – currently within the England set-up – could develop into high-calibre contenders, the lack of top-level opportunities is creating a “chicken-and-egg scenario” for their progression. The confirmed appointments for the men’s Hundred include several Australians in Shane Warne, Simon Katich and Andrew McDonald, as well as the South African Gary Kirsten.

“Personally I think that [The Hundred] was a great opportunity for English coaches to be appointed,” Strauss said. “Each of those teams will have their own reasons for appointing experienced coaches, who have coached in T20 cricket elsewhere in the world. You can completely understand that, but there is a bit of a chicken-and-egg situation in that unless English coaches get an opportunity, how do they get the experience.

“We’ve always got to look for an opportunity for our English coaches to get more experience than just doing county coaching gigs. They need to do more than that if they are going to be viable candidates for England jobs going forward.

“Some of the really good, young English coaches are currently involved in the England team. So Paul Collingwood being a great example, Chris Silverwood, Marcus Trescothick is doing some work as well. So those are guys who may have had some appeal to The Hundred teams but actually are involved with the England teams at the moment.”

The right candidate for the England job, however, will need to deal with more than just the mechanics of red- and white-ball cricket.

“The coaching is one thing, dealing with the media is another, dealing with the pressure of high-intensity series and all those things play in just as much as your ability to coach 11 players,” Strauss said.

“I personally don’t think it’s sustainable for the same coaches to do all formats, whether it’s a coach or assistant coaches, you need people to be able to come and go because it’s just too much.

“We can’t prepare and play at the same time. If you’re playing one series, you need someone who’s preparing for the next series that’s coming on in a couple of weeks. It’s very hard to do that.

“His [Giles’] thinking at the moment, from what I’ve heard, is that he thinks that there is value in having one head coach who looks after the whole thing, who you identify periods of rest for. And then you have support staff there who will dip in and out. Which is fine, I think that makes sense.”

However, the lure of The Hundred for overseas coaches merely underlines the attractiveness of franchise-style competitions, and the problems that Giles is likely to face in persuading a suitable name to commit to the long-term challenge of guiding England’s fortunes.

“That’s the real challenge, there’s some great coaching opportunities for people out there who can go for three months of the year, and have the rest of the year off to do other things,” Strauss said. “So I think if I was in Ashley’s shoes right now, I’d be asking myself the question around what does the England team need going forward. If he feels he needs a coach for all formats, then he’s got to think whether he’s looking for a certain type of experience and style, and then try and identify the candidates from there.”



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