England to split coaching roles between Test and white-ball teams

England will revert to a split-coaching structure for the first time in eight years after the ECB formally advertised for two new head coaches: one for their Test team, the other for white-ball cricket.

The decision to split the coaching role in two had been widely anticipated since Rob Key’s appointment as managing director of men’s cricket and has now been officially confirmed, with candidates invited to apply for their desired role by May 6 and first-round interviews scheduled for May 9 and 10. England’s next Test is against New Zealand on June 2, and their next limited-overs series starts on June 17 in the Netherlands.

Andy Flower (Tests) and Ashley Giles (ODIs and T20Is) previously split the role from 2012 to 2014 and had a difficult relationship, with England’s best players routinely rested from limited-overs series, but the level of expectation for England’s white-ball teams is significantly higher now.

Chris Silverwood, who was sacked after the Ashes defeat in Australia, missed multiple limited-overs series due to the demands of the schedule. The fixture list is equally punishing over the next 12 months: there are six separate England tours scheduled for the 2021-22 winter, while the Netherlands ODI series takes place during the gap between the second and third Tests against New Zealand in June, necessitating separate squads.

Collingwood was in charge of both the T20I and Test tours to the Caribbean earlier this year on an interim basis but both series ended in defeat and his closeness to the players as an assistant coach may count against him following England’s poor run of results.

The job specifications suggest that the ideal candidates for the roles should be “accomplished strategists with clear and ambitious plans for how they will develop and build success for English cricket moving forward” who will show that they can “create a winning culture and world-leading teams”.

Key will be formally unveiled to the media at Lord’s on Thursday, just over a week after starting his new role, and is expected to present a clearer outline of his vision to revive the England teams after a disappointing winter which saw the Test team go winless across eight games and the T20I side beaten in the semi-finals of the World Cup in the UAE.

While working as a pundit for Sky Sports, Key was critical of his predecessor Giles’ decision to make the position of national selector redundant and hand those duties to Silverwood. He is yet to confirm whether he will appoint a single selector, but the advertisement for the coaching roles stipulates that the each new head coach will play “a central role in selecting the team for their respective format alongside a national selection panel”.