Graham Ford emerges as a leading candidate to replace Trevor Bayliss as England coach
Graham Ford has emerged as a leading candidate to become England's new coach as they plan for life after Trevor Bayliss.
The end of England's longest summer was the cue on Monday for director of cricket Ashley Giles to step up his search for a new head coach after Bayliss bowed out with a World Cup triumph and a drawn Ashes series to preserve his unbeaten home Test record.
And Sportsmail understands that Ireland coach Ford is among the favourites as Giles attempts to make an appointment in time for the tour of New Zealand, which begins next month.
Graham Ford has emerged as a leading candidate to become England's new coach
The experienced South African, 58, has international pedigree through his time as coach of his home country and Sri Lanka, as well as extensive knowledge of the English game after time with Kent and Surrey.
Crucially, the man who has been a mentor to Kevin Pietersen is an accomplished batting coach and could be the right choice to provide the strategic planning team director Giles wants from the new figurehead.
Giles may yet plump for an interim coach for the five Twenty20 matches and two Tests that make up the New Zealand tour, with bowling coach Chris Silverwood the best candidate, but the failure to regain the Ashes has intensified his search for the right person.
Giles is expected to confirm this week that Joe Root will carry on as captain and outline his thoughts on the best coach to work with him as priorities switch back to the red-ball game.
Ford and Silverwood will be at the top of a shortlist that is also expected to include Ottis Gibson, Mickey Arthur and Mike Hesson.
England are looking to replace Trevor Bayliss before the tour of New Zealand gets underway