Giles will be looking to lead England to victory during their ODI series against India
Warwickshire’s director of cricket Ashley Giles has been appointed as England’s new ODI and Twenty20 head coach in a move to reduce the workload of Andy Flower.
Flower, who took over as England head coach in April 2009, will now get breaks between tours, but will continue on leading the Test side.
While Giles may have been promoted to coach England’s ODI and Twenty20 squads, he will still keep his other post as a selector as well.
England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) managing director Hugh Morris noted that Flower was in need of “a realistic and sustainable work-life balance”, hence the reason to relieve him of all coaching duties concerning the limited overs teams.
Talking about the subject of “a realistic and sustainable work-life balance”, the Professional Cricketers’ Association are looking to see if this “balance” can be applied to players as well since many of them are overworked, especially players like Kevin Pietersen, who, besides their England commitments, are also interested in playing domestic Twenty2o tournaments like the Indian Premier League (IPL).
With Giles taking over as coach of England’s Twenty20 and ODI squads, he will no longer be the director of cricket at Warwickshire, who were crowned county champions last season.
Giles’ first task as head coach will be to put an end to England’s shocking ODI streak in India, where they have lost 12 matches and drawn one out of the last 13 played in the country.
England’s last ODI victory in India was all the way back in 2006.
Speaking about how amazing the opportunity was, Giles noted that he had been approached for the job early last month.
“There was a possibility of me taking the one-day squad to India after Christmas,” Giles said. “Then it developed to if there was a restructuring would I be interested and the answer was ‘yes’. I have never hidden the ambition to coach internationally.
“There was obviously a concern about the workload for the head coach and, if they split the roles and there was restructuring, what the roles and responsibilities would look like. There were things that could come up – selection, the rest and rotation policy and results. It was about getting your head around what it would look like as a split role.”
Giles also noted that having coaches tending to different formats would soon become a common sight amongst all of the major teams in international cricket.
“It’s started with captains, we are now seeing it with players – the rest and rotation of players is going to be important for keeping them fit and fresh for the really big tournaments – and now it’s coaches,” Giles added. “Andy has been a brilliant coach and rather than burning out your best people and then get rid of them you need to keep them as long as you can and this structure allows you to do that.
“This could be the new edge that we need. It’s important that we and Andy work closely together. Andy ultimately is the boss and I will report to him, but we will work closely on strategy and selection.
“It definitely allows you much more time to plan properly for series, to spend time with the analysts and some of the one-day players and watch one-day cricket domestically and see young guys coming through as well as the importance of the work-life balance for the head coach. There will be times when we have disagreements but we have disagreements in a room and we get over then very quickly.”
Giles has been viewed as a suitable coaching candidate for a long time and the former left-arm spinner was highly valued as a player and currently still is as a selector.
“I hope I’m a better coach and a lot of that is through experience: consistently talking about cricket, working with people, managing different individuals, managing your management team, working with your boss, budgets and committees,” he said. “I hope I have been a decent sponge. I like to suck all that stuff up.
“I’m pretty well-structured, I think I’m fair, I’m straight with people if I think they are out of line I tell them.”
The former left-arm spinner further mentioned that he was unfazed by the fact that he used to be team-mates with some of the current England squad members.
“There are still people I have played with, but I have been retired six years now,” Giles said. “I hope people don’t think I am going to take it easy on them because I have played with them.
“I suppose when I first came to Warwickshire as coach because I was an old player some people tried to take the mick a bit or steal a yard but if you are consistently clear with what the message is there is only one way to go.”
Even though he led Warwickshire to victory in the four-day format of county cricket, Giles still believes it will be beneficial for his new job.
“I guess it’s good for the CV and good the confidence,” he said. But it is in the shorter game where he must now make an impact.”