ECB to select coach in April
The England and Wales Cricket Board will interview for a new head coach in early April, after an official job specification was released for the role.
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While the likely runners and riders to replace Andy Flower have been busy ruling themselves in or out of the race for several weeks, the formal recruitment process has now started.
A detailed advert has been placed for the post, which will no longer carry the 'team director' title held by Flower.
As expected the successful candidate will be in charge across all three formats of the game, ending the experiment of split coaches that saw Ashley Giles recruited to lead the limited-overs sides while Flower concentrated on the Test squad.
Giles, who is in charge of England on their forthcoming one-day tour of West Indies as well as the forthcoming World Twenty20 in Bangladesh, remains the strong favourite for the top job and fits comfortably within the parameters set by the ECB.
The wording does not require international experience as a player, though Giles' status as an Ashes-winning spinner will do him no harm at all.
The notice read: "Whilst international coaching and/or international playing experience is highly desirable, candidates who have coached at first-class level will also be considered for this position.
"Candidates must be able to point to a track record of success at first-class and/or international level achieved over an extended period of time."
The wording opens the door to applications from the likes of Nottinghamshire's Mick Newell, who has suggested he would be interested in the role.
Domestic candidates such as Newell, Lancashire's Peter Moores and Giles, who won the 2012 County Championship while in charge of Warwickshire, would also fit the ECB bill for an individual who can "develop effective working relationships with all of the counties, drawing on the expertise and experience of coaches from around the country."
The new coach will be unable to call on the talents of Kevin Pietersen following his controversial axeing from the national set-up, and there is only the vaguest allusion to that row in the advert.
The ECB's attempt at explaining the end of Pietersen's England career was couched in terms of "trust and team ethics" and the new head coach has duly been charged with "reviewing, maintaining and enforcing the disciplinary codes within the England men's team."
The closing date for applications is March 28, with interviews due to take place in the week commencing April 6.