England snub home talent again and appoint Saker as bowling coach

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England delivered another significant rebuff to home-grown coaches yesterday by appointing an Australian as their new bowling coach. David Saker, assistant coach of the Victoria Bushrangers where he played 49 matches as a seam bowler, will start in time for the World Twenty20 next month.

He may well be the best man for the job but, as the third overseas coach to hold it following Troy Cooley and Ottis Gibson, it does not say much for the quality of coaching in Britain. Coming on the day that the England and Wales Cricket Board launched its new five-year plan, Grounds to Play, with the intention of having 25,000 qualified coaches in the country and creating coaching roles for 18 former professionals, the slight seemed starker still.

Saker said: "I've long held ambitions of coaching at international level so the prospect of working with the England team is something I'm very much looking forward to and excited by. I believe I can offer the England bowlers a great deal and oversee their development at the highest level."

Hugh Morris, managing director of England cricket, said there had been an exhaustive recruitment process involving several world-class candidates.