Andrew Strauss insists appointing an Australian coach of England is an entirely feasible option for this summer’s Ashes.
Former Australia fast bowler Jason Gillespie, currently in charge of Yorkshire whom he led to the English County Championship title last year, has emerged as a leading contender to succeed the sacked Peter Moores.
New England and Wales Cricket Board director Strauss described Gillespie as “one of the candidates” during a marathon round of interviews at Lord’s on Tuesday.
Strauss also confirmed no way back for Kevin Pietersen, citing a “massive trust issue” for various reasons which still linger as a result of the controversial batsman’s previous difficulties with both his former captain and his employers.
As for the identity of the new coach, Strauss hopes to make an appointment in time for the start of the Ashes in July and he sees Australian birth as no impediment.
“We’ve had Australian support staff – David Saker as bowling coach, Troy Cooley in the past,” he said.
“When people are in the team environment, they’re professional.”
The difference with Gillespie, of course, is that as well as being born in Sydney he also took 259 wickets in 71 Tests for his country, including in five Ashes series.
Durham captain Paul Collingwood, who coached Scotland in the recent World Cup, has been mooted as one possible home-grown alternative.
But, speaking after his county completed a six-wicket Championship win over Nottinghamshire on Tuesday, he told the Independent: “It would have to be a ridiculous offer, something I couldn’t turn down.
“If I keep taking wickets and scoring runs and keep enjoying it and bringing some good youngsters through here at Durham, it is going to be a hard thing to give up.”
Pietersen hit back at Strauss and the ECB in his column for the Daily Telegraph on Tuesday night, accusing them too of an abuse of trust.
On Wednesday, on Twitter, he borrowed from a post sent previously by his Surrey team-mate Kumar Sangakkara – implying confusion at how Strauss could tell him he cannot be trusted to play yet also offer him an advisory role with England’s limited-overs team.
Pietersen, who turned down that invitation, tweeted: “Morning all, after a pretty bad day yesterday, I’ve given it a lot of thought overnight. I’m applying for the coaching job! #StraussLogic”