After much speculation, England has appointed Chris Silverwood as their new head coach across all formats, replacing Trevor Bayliss who stepped down from the role at the end of the home summer.
Reportedly, Ashley Giles, the ECB’s director of men’s cricket, has taken his time in appointing Bayliss’s replacement with a number of candidates sounded out for the post including Alec Stewart, Gary Kirsten, and Graham Ford. But Giles has opted for continuity in appointing the 44-year-old Silverwood who has been the team’s fast-bowling coach since the start of the 2017/18 Ashes series.
Giles has previously stated that although he wanted the best person for the job, choosing an Englishman was always his preference. Silverwood will be just the second home-grown head coach to take charge of England since the turn of the millennium. His appointment is a boost for the ECB’s much-vaunted – and costly – coach education program as well as for the county game with Silverwood having learned his coaching trade at Essex, first as a bowling coach and then as head coach, culminating in the club’s first Championship victory in 25 years in 2017.
The ECB’s selection panel comprised Giles, Chief Executive Officer Tom Harrison and Head of Coach Development John Neal who unanimously agreed that Silverwood was their man having impressed during the interview process. Reports suggested that Kirsten, the former head coach of both South Africa and India, may have been the front runner but that he fell behind Silverwood after interviewing poorly. Giles described the former Yorkshire and England fast-bowler, as “the standout candidate”.
“We are delighted to confirm Chris as England men’s head coach,” said Giles. “We have gone through a thorough process and looked at all the options that were available to us. Chris was the standout candidate.
“He has performed exceptionally well during his role as an assistant coach and has the ultimate respect of the players’ that have worked with him. Chris demonstrated in his interview a clear understanding and strategy of how both the red and white ball teams need to evolve.
It may be stated that the new head coach’s first assignment will be England’s tour of New Zealand next month which includes two Tests and five T20Is. After the failure to regain the Ashes this summer continued a mediocre run in Test cricket, Giles wants to recalibrate England’s focus with more attention devoted to the red-ball rather than the white. Although Silverwood will be in charge of all formats, there is no doubting that the development of England’s Test performances is the main barometer against which he will be measured.
“I am thrilled and honored to be appointed England head coach,” Silverwood said. “I am excited to get started and build teams that the whole game can be proud of. There is a tremendous amount of talent coming through, and there is enormous potential for growth. The hard work starts now, and I am confident we can make a positive impact during our winter tours of New Zealand and South Africa.”