Test Match Sofa
Warwicks favourites in frame to follow Giles
By Paul Bolton, County News Correspondent
Warwickshire will probably not need to look much further than their 1994 treble-winning squad for a replacement for outgoing director of cricket Ashley Giles.
The former England left-arm spinner’s appointment as England’s first full-time one-day and Twenty20 coach means that Warwickshire have lost the man that masterminded this year’s County Championship triumph.
Warwickshire knew that their Championship success had put Giles firmly in the frame for an international coaching job but they did not expect it to happen barely two months after the end of the English season.
Warwickshire chairman Norman Gascoigne, chief executive Colin Povey, captain Jim Troughton and chairman of cricket John Dodge met at Edgbaston shortly after Giles had completed a round of media interviews to discuss the way forward.
Warwickshire have two strong candidates to replace Giles in their existing coaching team in bowling coach Graeme Welch and assistant coach Dougie Brown, both of whom are interested in the coaching vacancy.
Welch has the broader experience having captained Derbyshire for a season after he left Edgbaston in 2000 and then worked as Essex’s bowling coach. He is also a Level Four qualified coach and played an important part in Warwickshire’s Championship success by developing a fearsome battery of fast bowlers.
Brown, who played one-day international cricket for Scotland and England, had a spell coaching Namibia but has otherwise spent all his county playing and coaching career at Edgbaston. He has been in charge of Warwickshire’s second team and academy for three years but has emerged as a strong candidate to take charge especially as Giles, who is a close friend, will have a say in who should succeed him.
Warwickshire’s unhappy experience with former New Zealand batsman Mark Greatbatch whose sacking, after double relegation in 2007, cleared the way for Giles’s appointment, might deter them from looking for an outside candidate,. Povey said that Warwickshire would “see what’s out in the market” which may attract applications from two more members of the most successful side in Warwickshire’s history.
Former opening batsman Andy Moles is expected to apply despite the unhappy experience of missing out to Greatbatch in 2005 due to some Machiavellian manoeuvring from key decision-makers at the club.
Moles has extensive coaching experience having been national coach to Hong Kong, Kenya, Scotland and New Zealand and also having been in charge of first-class sides in South Africa and New Zealand. He is currently coaching the University of Western Cape in South Africa but is keen to coach in county cricket for the first team and was recently shortlisted for the vacant Somerset director of cricket post.
A dark horse for the Edgbaston vacancy, meanwhile, might be Zimbabwean Trevor Penney who is currently working as Duncan Fletcher’s assistant coach in India. Penney left Warwickshire seven years ago to become Sri Lanka’s assistant coach and he has since enjoyed spells as part of the coaching set-ups at Western Australia and Queensland.
Penney ended his time at Edgbaston as Warwickshire’s second team captain and helped to bring a number of this season’s Championship-winning squad.
“One of the things that Ashley has done well is to build a good leadership team. We take pride from the stability that we had in recent times we have got people who have bought into the philosophy that we have adopted and that has been part of the reason for our success,” Povey said.
“We think we are in a very strong position both in terms of the squad and other members of the coaching staff and cricket management. We think we are in a good position, given the facilities we have got now, to have a strong field of candidates.
“At the end of the day this is a critical appointment and we have got to get it right. We need to make sure the process is handled properly, we do take our time but we need somebody in as soon as possible.
“I am certain there will be some people internally or close to the club who will think they have a good chance of filling this role, but equally we will want to see what is out in the open market.”
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