England change to continue with new limited-overs coach and revamped Test squad

Things have been moving quickly at the England and Wales Cricket Board with Rob Key

Rory Dollard
Monday 16 May 2022 14:37
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Rob Key will be making more big decisions this week (Adam Davy/PA)
Rob Key will be making more big decisions this week (Adam Davy/PA)

England are preparing to announce their new limited-overs coach and a revamped Test squad in the coming days, as Rob Key’s overhaul of the men’s side continues to take shape.

Things have been moving quickly at the England and Wales Cricket Board in recent weeks, with Key’s arrival as managing director followed by the appointment of Ben Stokes and Brendon McCullum as captain and coach of the men’s red-ball team.

The first Test squad of the summer is now expected to be named on Wednesday, two weeks before England face New Zealand at Lord’s, while a final decision on McCullum’s white-ball counterpart is also imminent pending board approval.

Australia women’s coach Matthew Mott is in pole position to take a post, with reports suggesting that the Queenslander is in advanced negotiations after impressing Key’s interview panel.

Internal candidate Paul Collingwood, part of England’s coaching unit for the past four years and a former one-day captain, had been well-fancied for promotion but may instead be asked to remain in the ranks.

Mott, 48, has overseen an era of international dominance for the Southern Stars since taking over in 2015, scooping three successive global titles – two Twenty20 World Cups and this year’s 50-over tournament – and three Ashes victories.

McCullum was not directly involved in the white-ball process, with Key keen for the job-share to be one of equals after the imbalanced relationship between Andy Flower and Ashley Giles when England previously attempted a split.

But he is highly likely to approve, having revealed in his 2016 autobiography that he suggested Mott as New Zealand head coach a decade ago when he was Black Caps captain.

As well as putting the finishing touches to the recruitment process, Key has also been taking a lead role chairing the selection process for the first home international of the year on 2 June. The former Kent skipper does not intend to hold on to that responsibility in the long term, and is considering returning to a national selector, but has been working closely with Stokes on the initial squad.

James Anderson and Stuart Broad are both certain to return following their omission from the series defeat in the West Indies, Joe Root’s last as captain, but the vastly experienced pair could be joined by fresh faces in the form of uncapped trio Harry Brook, Matt Parkinson and Matthew Potts.

Harry Brook has been in imperious form for Yorkshire (Mike Egerton/PA)

Yorkshire batter Brook has made an irresistible case for one of the top five vacancies, scoring 758 runs in eight innings at an average of 151.60, including three centuries.

Unlike Brook, Potts is playing Division Two cricket with Durham but has nevertheless timed a career-best run of form impeccably. With a lengthy injury list of seamers including the likes of Mark Wood, Chris Woakes, Jofra Archer, Olly Stone and Matthew Fisher, his haul of 35 wickets at 18.57 makes him the coming man.

The 23-year-old has taken five-wicket hauls against Leicestershire, Nottinghamshire, Worcestershire and Glamorgan, with the latter two performances coming in front of team-mate Stokes.

Lancashire leg-spinner Parkinson, meanwhile, will be hoping the incoming regime give him the chance he has long craved. He has yet to get the nod at Test level, despite several tours as a squad member or reserve, but has kept his standards reliably high and his 23 wickets make him the most prolific spinner in the country this year.

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