Fletcher's job on line after Ashes failure

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The Independent Online

Duncan Fletcher's future as England coach could be under threat after a top England and Wales Cricket Board official admitted that his position is to be reviewed after next year's World Cup in the West Indies. Fletcher has been in charge of the England cricket team since September 1999 but he has come under increased pressure during the team's failed attempt to retain the Ashes.

Poor preparation and selection have been cited as two of the principal reasons for England's disappointing show in Australia. Andrew Flintoff's side have been heavily beaten in each of the first three Test matches and there are fears that England could be on the end of a 5-0 whitewash. Fletcher is the most influential figure in English cricket and in many people's eyes he is responsible for the poor displays.

When asked whether he thought a coach had a shelf-life, David Collier, the chief executive of the ECB, said: "That can be true. But we're in the middle of a series. We've got two important Tests, we've got the Commonwealth Bank [one-day] series, we then go to the World Cup. After that we will reflect on where we go."

Fletcher is on a rolling contract with the ECB and, with the exception of several of England's top players, is the highest paid employee of the Board. The 58-year-old felt that he still had plenty to contribute when he was asked about his future after England's defeat in the second Test. Fletcher said that he was constantly reviewing his position and that he would leave if he had nothing more to give.