Chris Adams was sacked as team director by Surrey yesterday after a dire start to the season. The first-team coach, Ian Salisbury, was also relieved of his duties with immediate effect.
If it was an increasing sign of the times in county cricket that poor results will not be tolerated and that coaching jobs are no longer for life, it also meant more turbulence for a club who have had their fair share recently.
Adams caused an immediate stir when he was appointed five years ago and made 21-year-old Rory Hamilton-Brown the first-team captain after he had played only six Championship matches for Sussex. The side seemed to be making headway slowly but were left reeling by the death last year of Tom Maynard, who was found on an Underground line after running away from police. The inquest into his death revealed that he had been a habitual drug taker.
Adams tried to instigate a cultural change at the club by signing senior, well-respected players this season, including Graeme Smith and Ricky Ponting, but results have refused to improve. Surrey are seventh in the First Division of the Championship, without a win.
Alec Stewart, who played for the county for 20 years, will take temporary charge along with the bowling coach, Stuart Barnes.
They will be with the side at Headingley on Friday when Kevin Pietersen makes his long-awaited return.
Although Stewart is extremely unlikely to want the job on a long- term basis, a new coach with deep Surrey connections is probable.