Ashley Giles: New England cricket chief keen to keep momentum ahead of the Ashes and World Cup in 2019

Ashley Giles
Ashley Giles

Ashley Giles says his main focus as the new ECB director of cricket is to make sure nothing hinders England's potential success in both the Ashes and World Cup in 2019.

Giles has taken over from Andrew Strauss in the top role at the England and Wales Cricket Board and comes into the job months before England host a World Cup they are favourites to win, as well as an Ashes series.

He said: "Straussy's done a great job and handed over a ship which is in pretty good shape, heading into what is an exciting year.

"I have to support the coaches and players and make sure there's nothing down the line that will interfere with the direction we're going in.

"There's still no guarantee that we will win the World Cup or the Ashes but my role is to give us the best possible chance leading into those two tournaments to give us the most success."

New coach a top priority

One of Giles' other main priorities will be to find a replacement for head coach Trevor Bayliss, who will leave his role at the end of the English summer.

Giles, who was sacked as England's one-day coach four years ago, is open to appointing separate coaches for the Test and limited-overs sides.

"Clearly the new coaching structure is going to be front and centre and there's a lot to think about," he added.

"There's been a lot made of two coaches - one specialist under one coach. There are a lot of different options and I need some time to look at everything.

"Myself and Andy Flower split the role. I think it can work, absolutely. The challenges of one guy doing it is the workload, especially going into the next couple of years with the World Test Championship and T20 World Cups back-to-back."

Giles to clamp down on drinking culture

Giles has described himself as a "disciplinarian" and has vowed to harness a culture which would see late-night alcohol-fuelled incidents a thing of the past.

"There's been some stuff in the last year or 18 months that has been unsavoury," he said.

"I have a reputation for being a bit of a disciplinarian and I can be when it's called for but you also have to accept these guys are human and are going to make mistakes.

"Everyone needs boundaries, guys need to know where they stand and what's right and wrong.

"It's important to me, how we look to our supporters and how we are respected. It's almost as important as actually winning on the field.

"If you are respected on the field, there's every chance you are going to have success - if you're not and you are winning, there's a chance something going on underneath that's not very good.

"A big part for me is us being the best and most respected team in the world."

Ryan Sidebottom column

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