England cricket: Chris Silverwood’s future remains in doubt as Ashley Giles quits


Chris Silverwood’s future as England men’s head coach remains in doubt following the departure of managing director Ashley Giles.

The England and Wales Cricket Board announced Giles had left his role on Wednesday night as they review a disastrous 4-0 Ashes series defeat and a poor sequence of results throughout 2021.

But the ECB has yet to confirm what the future holds for Silverwood and batting coach Graham Thorpe after England lost nine of their 15 Tests last year and were beaten in the T20 World Cup semi-finals in November.

Chair of the ECB cricket committee and former England captain Sir Andrew Strauss will take over from Giles on a temporary basis to prepare the team set-up for next month’s three-Test series in the West Indies.

Giles apologised for England’s dismal showing Down Under after defeat in the decisive third Test in Melbourne, but insisted a mass clear-out at the top was not the answer to deep-lying problems that were to blame for the team’s decline in the red-ball format.

But despite Giles’ warnings, the former Test spinner has departed and the ECB could make further changes.

Giles said: “The past couple of years have been incredibly challenging and I’m proud of what we’ve been able to deliver in the toughest of circumstances. This has undoubtedly protected the future of the game in England and Wales.

Sir Andrew Strauss, left, will take over as England men's director of cricket on a temporary basis
Sir Andrew Strauss, left, will take over as England men’s director of cricket on a temporary basis (John Walton/PA)

“Despite these challenges, over the past three years, we have become 50-over world champions, the top ranked T20I side in the world, we remain (the) fourth ranked Test team and our under-19s have just reached the World Cup final for the first time in 24 years. I wish all our players and staff great success for the future.”

Strauss made his recommendations to the board after receiving a report on England’s Ashes failures from Giles and Silverwood last week.

Main criticisms of their leadership have been over team selection and decision-making in Australia and the controversial rotation policy throughout last year due to a crowded schedule during the coronavirus pandemic.

Former England captain Michael Atherton said this week that the men’s Ashes performances were “a damning reflection on the coaching and managerial positions around the team”.

On Giles’ departure, ECB chief executive officer Tom Harrison said: “Under (Giles’) leadership the teams have scored some notable results, most memorably the dramatic victory in the 2019 ICC men’s Cricket World Cup, while dealing with some of the most challenging times English cricket has ever been through.

“Off the back of a disappointing men’s Ashes this winter we must ensure we put in place the conditions across our game to enable our Test team to succeed.”