England begin hunt for new bowling coach

England made it clear today that they will trawl the world to find a new fast bowling coach. This is their habitual response when any specialist role needs filling, but this time they may need to follow it to the letter.

The anticipated announcement today that Ottis Gibson, the present, highly respected incumbent, is leaving to become head coach of the West Indies, puts England in a hole. There may be plenty of applicants for a job that Gibson performed with quiet distinction but there is not one whom England might actively pursue.

Names that are being bandied about tonight without much conviction included the former South Africa fast bowler, Allan Donald, who was offered the permanent job once before, Dougie Brown, the well-qualified former Warwickshire all-rounder and recent internationals such as Andrew Caddick and Darren Gough.

The first issue to decide is whether England need a temporary replacement to travel with them later this month to Bangladesh where they are playing three one-day internationals and two Test matches. Although there will be a natural reluctance, not to mention difficulty in offering a contract which is so specifically short term, the particularly alien nature of sub-continental pitches means that England's seam bowlers probably need all the advice they can get.

Hugh Morris, the managing director of England cricket, will meet team coach Andy Flower some time this week to discuss their options. But he seemed certain that they will not be rushed into an appointment. When Gibson was hired in late 2007, England were so certain they had the right man - and they were right - that the interview process was overlooked.

“We'll have a long discussion about how to proceed but I would think the intention will be to go through due process of advertising the job and inviting applicants wherever they are,” said Morris. “If we decide that a bowling coach is needed for the tour of Bangladesh it will be a strictly temporary role.”

The simple short-term option would be for England to ask the England Performance Centre fast bowling coach, Kevin Shine, to make the trip to Bangladesh. He has worked with all England's seam bowlers before and although he was not deemed to be a runaway success in previous stints with the national team he would be more comfortable now and should have no trouble taking over for six weeks.

It is the long term about which England will be more particularly concerned - not least the Ashes tour next winter. Bowling coaches have played a key part in recent years in England's triumphs. Troy Cooley, the innovative Tasmanian, began that trend in 2005 when he helped the mastery of reverse swing which became telling in a series of slender margins.

After Cooley decamped for his native Australia - the England and Wales Cricket Board having demurred in offering him a longer contract - Gibson eventually stepped in. He made a swift impression in his first series, five one-day matches in Sri Lanka in 2007. After England were hammered in the first match Gibson impressed on his charges the need to bowl well-disguised slower balls and gave them a quick masterclass which paid wonderful dividends. England won a one-day series in Sri Lanka for the first time. Gibson's influence last summer against Australia last summer - he taught them simply to be more disciplined - was again noticeable.

The likelihood is that England will require a high qualified paper coach. Gibson reached level four and was almost a one-off: there was little either he did not know about the theories of fast bowling or how to put them into practice. Famously, after acquiring his coaching certificates, he returned to the professional game as a player and took 80 wickets for Durham in his final season at the age of 38.

Donald is known to want a coaching role. Since he turned down the England job last time because of his young family in South Africa he has struggled to find work at home. Although the regime change in South Africa might re-open doors for him, he was clearly eager on England's recent tour of his country to be offered something worthwhile soon.

Gough would be effervescent but while his intelligence as a fast bowler should not be under-rated it would be too big a role for him at present. He is in any case pursuing a media career. His fast bowling partner with England, Andrew Caddick, has expressed interest in coaching but it would be much too soon for him. Brown is a possible. Highly qualified, a former stalwart county pro he has the passion and knowledge of all good coaches.

Ian Pont, a maverick fast bowling coach, has innovative ideas and worked at Essex when Flower was there as a player. He would be a left-field and hardly a choice to court universal popularity but he seemed intent on applying last night.

PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
Ian Thorpe had Rio 2016 in his sights
people
Arts and Entertainment
Original Netflix series such as Orange Is The New Black are to benefit from a 'substantial' increase in investment
TVHoax announcement had caused outrage
Life and Style
Swimsuit, £245, by Agent Provocateur
fashion

Diving in at the deep end is no excuse for shirking the style stakes

News
One Direction star Harry Styles who says he has no plans to follow his pal Cara Delevingne down the catwalk.
peopleManagement confirms rumours singer is going it alone are false
Voices
Mrs Brown's Boy: D'Movie has been a huge commercial success
voicesWhen it comes to national stereotyping, the Irish know it can pay to play up to outsiders' expectations, says DJ Taylor
Arts and Entertainment
Curtain calls: Madani Younis
theatreMadani Younis wants the neighbourhood to follow his work as closely as his audiences do
Arts and Entertainment
'Deep Breath' is Peter Capaldi's first full-length adventure as the twelfth Doctor
TVFirst episode of new series has ended up on the internet
Life and Style
Douglas McMaster says the food industry is ‘traumatised’
food + drinkSilo in Brighton will have just six staple dishes on the menu every day, including one meat option, one fish, one vegan, and one 'wild card'
Sport
Mario Balotelli, Divock Origi, Loic Remy, Wilfried Bony and Karim Benzema
transfersBony, Benzema and the other transfer targets
Caption competition
Caption competition
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Daily World Cup Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services

Day In a Page

Iraq crisis: How Saudi Arabia helped Isis take over the north of the country

How Saudi Arabia helped Isis take over northern Iraq

A speech by an ex-MI6 boss hints at a plan going back over a decade. In some areas, being Shia is akin to being a Jew in Nazi Germany, says Patrick Cockburn
The evolution of Andy Serkis: First Gollum, then King Kong - now the actor is swinging through the trees in Dawn of the Planet of the Apes

The evolution of Andy Serkis

First Gollum, then King Kong - now the actor is swinging through the trees in Dawn of the Planet of the Apes
You thought 'Benefits Street' was controversial: Follow-up documentary 'Immigrant Street' has got locals worried

You thought 'Benefits Street' was controversial...

Follow-up documentary 'Immigrant Street' has got locals worried
Refugee children from Central America let down by Washington's high ideals

Refugee children let down by Washington's high ideals

Democrats and Republicans refuse to set aside their differences to cope with the influx of desperate Central Americas, says Rupert Cornwell
Children's books are too white, says Laureate

Children's books are too white, says Laureate

Malorie Blackman appeals for a better ethnic mix of authors and characters and the illustrator Quentin Blake comes to the rescue
Blackest is the new black: Scientists have developed a material so dark that you can't see it...

Blackest is the new black

Scientists have developed a material so dark that you can't see it...
Matthew Barzun: America's diplomatic dude

Matthew Barzun: America's diplomatic dude

The US Ambassador to London holds 'jeans and beer' gigs at his official residence – it's all part of the job, he tells Chris Green
Meet the Quantified Selfers: From heart rates to happiness, there is little this fast-growing, self-tracking community won't monitor

Meet the 'Quantified Selfers'

From heart rates to happiness, there is little this fast-growing, self-tracking community won't monitor
Madani Younis: Five-star reviews are just the opening act for British theatre's first non-white artistic director

Five-star reviews are just the opening act for British theatre's first non-white artistic director

Madani Younis wants the neighbourhood to follow his work as closely as his audiences do
Mrs Brown and her boys: are they having a laugh?

Mrs Brown and her boys: are they having a laugh?

When it comes to national stereotyping, the Irish – among others – know it can pay to play up to outsiders' expectations, says DJ Taylor
Gavin Maxwell's bitter legacy: Was the otter man the wildlife champion he appeared to be?

Otter man Gavin Maxwell's bitter legacy

The aristocrat's eccentric devotion to his pets inspired a generation. But our greatest living nature writer believes his legacy has been quite toxic
Joanna Rowsell: The World Champion cyclist on breaking her collarbone, shattering her teeth - and dealing with alopecia

Joanna Rowsell: 'I wear my wig to look normal'

The World Champion cyclist on breaking her collarbone, shattering her teeth - and dealing with alopecia
Bill Granger recipes: Our chef gives raw ingredients a lift with his quick marinades

Bill Granger's quick and delicious marinades

Our chef's marinades are great for weekend barbecuing, but are also a delicious way of injecting flavour into, and breaking the monotony of, weekday meals
Germany vs Argentina World Cup 2014 preview: Why Brazilians don't love their neighbours Argentina any more

Anyone but Argentina – why Brazilians don’t love their neighbours any more

The hosts will be supporting Germany in today's World Cup final, reports Alex Bellos
The Open 2014: Time again to ask that major question - can Lee Westwood win at last?

The Open 2014

Time again to ask that major question - can Lee Westwood win at last?