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England head coach – Paul Collingwood appointed stand-in for West Indies Test series


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Promoted assistant eyes chance to “reset and rebuild” with squad to be named on Tuesday

Paul Collingwood will be England’s head coach for their Test series against West Indies next month after being appointed as a stand-in by Andrew Strauss, the ECB’s interim managing director of men’s cricket.
Chris Silverwood was sacked last week after just over two years as head coach, paying the price for England’s latest thrashing in an away Ashes series. Ashley Giles also lost his job as managing director following the 4-0 series defeat.
Collingwood, who was appointed as an assistant coach in late 2019 after several years working as a consultant for the England team, filled in as head coach when Silverwood missed an ODI series against Ireland in 2020 and recently oversaw the 3-2 defeat against West Indies in last month’s T20I series in Barbados.

He has stayed in Barbados on holiday and will join up with the Test squad when they arrive in Antigua on February 25. England are due to play a four-day warm-up match at the Coolidge Cricket Ground – their first trip back since the infamous Stanford 20/20 for $20 million in 2008 – on March 1 ahead of the first Test at North Sound on March 8.

The ECB are expected to announce the squad for the tour on Tuesday, with Alex Lees, James Bracey and Josh Bohannon among the contenders to bolster England’s batting after they failed to reach 300 across five Ashes Tests. Strauss – who is part of the interim selection panel along with Collingwood and national scout James Taylor – confirmed last week that Joe Root would continue as captain, insisting he was “100% the right person to take this team forward”.

“I am genuinely excited to be leading the Test team for the tour of the Caribbean,” Collingwood said. “I can’t wait to get started. Having a challenging Test series against the West Indies straight off the back of the Ashes disappointment gives us a chance from now to reset and rebuild.

“Playing Test matches for England is the highest accolade in the game. My objective is to give players clarity, direction and encouragement for them to start building something special.

“I have spoken to Joe Root and Ben Stokes, and both are excited and passionate to take the team forward in this new cycle. Although they know it won’t be easy, they have the desire and bravery to do things differently to ensure the team can prosper. We have an opportunity to get back on track.”

Collingwood could be a contender for the vacancy as England’s head coach on a full-time basis. His lack of experience in a similar position at county or franchise level counts against him – not least after the gamble to promote Silverwood from within backfired – but he will be a strong candidate as white-ball coach if the roles are split, as Strauss suggested last week.

Collingwood was the first England men’s captain to lift an ICC trophy, the 2010 World T20, and has worked closely with Eoin Morgan since his international retirement in 2011. He raised eyebrows last month when he said that players deserved “medals, not criticism” for making it through the Ashes series but his focus on player welfare and mental health could be viewed favourably given England’s relentless schedule.
Marcus Trescothick, England’s other assistant coach, is likely to be part of Collingwood’s backroom staff for the Caribbean tour, with further appointments to follow this week. Richard Dawson, the elite performance pathway coach who led England to the Under-19 World Cup final, is expected to be part of the touring party.

February 7, 2022, 1330 GMT – This story was updated to add details of England’s interim selection panel

Matt Roller is an assistant editor at ESPNcricinfo. @mroller98



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