England expected to announce that Chris Silverwood is to take over Trevor Bayliss as new head coach after pulling ahead in interview process
Chris Silverwood is set to be named as England’s new head coach – and confirmation could come as soon as Monday.
Sportsmail revealed on Saturday that Silverwood – currently in charge of England’s fast bowlers – had emerged from last week’s interview process with the ECB as favourite to replace Trevor Bayliss, in the process pulling clear of South African Gary Kirsten.
And it would allow the 44-year-old Silverwood, who in 2017 coached Essex to their first championship title in 25 years, to assume the role in time for England’s tour of New Zealand, starting later this month.
Chris Silverwood who is in charge of England's fast bowlers is set to become head coach
Details of his contract are still being finalised, but ECB managing director of men’s cricket Ashley Giles has been keen to press ahead with the appointment following Bayliss’s departure at the end of the Ashes.
The process has not always been straightforward. Surrey director of cricket Alec Stewart had been in the frame until he pulled out of contention for family reasons, while the ECB were unimpressed by Kirsten’s performance at Wednesday’s interview.
The board’s misgivings were compounded by Kirsten’s apparent belief that he was favourite for the job, while further examination of his scratchy recent record as a Twenty20 coach did not inspire confidence, not least because T20 World Cups are scheduled for both 2020 and 2021.
It would be wrong, though, to suggest Silverwood will have earned the top job by default.
Having tasted success with Essex – he also steered them to promotion the year before they won the championship – he has made a good impression during his two years as England’s fast-bowling coach.
A Yorkshireman who won six Test caps as one of the quickest bowlers in the county game – he had a best of five for 91 against South Africa at Cape Town in 1999-2000 – he is close to captain Joe Root.
Chris Silverwood (left) has emerged as front runner for the role having impressed in interviews
His media profile has been low-key so far, with England’s batting coach Graham Thorpe preferred during the summer as the backroom staff member most likely to attend a close-of-play press conference.
But the ECB believe he will feel more comfortable in the spotlight as his stature grows – a theory that now seems likely to be tested in the months and years ahead.