By Ali Martin
CHRIS Silverwood, the mastermind behind Essex winning the county championship this year, has accepted the role as England’s fast bowling coach.
The former Yorkshire, Middlesex and England seamer will become the full-time replacement for Ottis Gibson, who left his second spell in charge of the Test and one-day attack at the end of the summer in order to become the head coach of South Africa.
The timing of Gibson’s departure before this winter’s Ashes defence saw England move to bring in Shane Bond, the former New Zealand quick, on a short-term consultancy role up until the end of the second Test in Adelaide that begins on 2 December.
But now the process for the long-term vacancy that was advertised last month has been completed by the England and Wales Cricket Board, with Silverwood understood to have been offered the role this week and which he duly accepted.
It is a blow for Essex, who lose the head coach who oversaw promotion in 2016 during his first season in charge, followed by this summer’s title win. Anthony McGrath, his deputy at Chelmsford, is likely to take over in an interim role and is also favourite to get the job permanently.
Silverwood is already due to work with England’s Lions during the Australia training camp next month, while the first two Ashes Tests are taking place, but will not take over from Bond when the New Zealander leaves mid-series to take up his role with Brisbane Heat in the Big Bash League.
The 42-year-old Silverwood, who claimed 577 first-class wickets during his playing career from 1993 to 2009 and won the last of his six Test caps at Perth during the 2002-03 Ashes tour, will instead begin his new assignment when the one-day series against Australia gets under way in January.
Silverwood was among a number of county coaches to work with England’s one-day set-up at the end of the recent international season, along with Glenn Chapple of Lancashire, Leicestershire’s Graeme Welch, Jon Lewis of Sussex and Nottinghamshire’s Andy Pick.
The England head coach, Trevor Bayliss, has always maintained he sees the England position as tactical ahead of technical and Silverwood’s reputation rocketed last summer in that regard when Essex were crowned champions for the first time in 25 years. Certainly Jamie Porter thrived under his watch, with the 24-year-old’s 75 wickets central to the triumph.
Jimmy Anderson, England’s all-time leading wicket-taker, said at the back end of the summer that he saw the next bowling coach being primarily in charge of bringing through the next generation of quicks behind himself and the similarly established Stuart Broad.(The Guardian)