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Ashes 2021/22

Moeen Ali: I don’t see Eoin Morgan as a future head coach

by Wisden Staff 3 minute read

Speaking on BT Sport before the third day’s play at Sydney, Alastair Cook and Moeen Ali discussed which current players they thought would and wouldn’t make good coaches.

Moeen kicked off the discussion with a good-natured jibe at Cook, the two having been involved in an awkward moment over the latter’s supposed lack of empathy earlier in the Test.

“There are a couple of guys who you think could be a really good coach, but there are also guys where you think, ‘Coaching’s not for them. I don’t think he’s got the patience for it, I don’t think he’s got the empathy for it’,” Moeen said, while gesturing at Cook. “I feel like there are players out there who you think could potentially be very good coaches.”

Cook chuckled and called it “just another dig”, before asking Moeen who he thought could be a coach among the current crop of active players. Moeen said that he didn’t see Eoin Morgan, England’s white-ball captain, as a potential coach, but did name another of his limited-overs teammates as having the ingredients to make the transition to the tracksuit.

“I don’t see, for example, someone like Morgs [becoming a coach]” Moeen said. “I’m not saying he would not be a good coach, I just don’t see him doing that. I think he would be a great mentor for a team, but someone like Chris Jordan who does a bit of everything, I think he would be a very good coach. He’s great for the changing room, he has that sort of personality where people can trust him, and because he can bat, he can bowl, he can field, I think that will make him a very good coach.”

Moeen’s opinion is interesting as he has been one of England’s regulars under Morgan throughout what has been an unprecedentedly successful era in white-ball cricket. Many have assumed that Morgan will smoothly move into an off-field role, with some even suggesting he should be England head coach now, in place of the embattled Chris SIlverwood. Cook, however, agreed that he didn’t see Morgan as a potential coach, with both he and Moeen believing a more senior role could be where he ends up.

“I agree with Mo,” said Cook. “I can see Morgs in more of a director of cricket role. Above the changing room, in one sense, a strategic planner.”

“He has the qualities of being a leader and seeing things that most people like myself won’t be able to see and knowing things like that,” said Moeen. “He’s got those qualities that are beyond coaching and probably better than coaching.”

Cook offered James Anderson as a player with the tools to advise young players in the future, though again suggested it would be unlikely for him to take up a full-time national coaching role.

“Someone like Jimmy Anderosn, if I was involved in the ECB, [I would be] getting him,” Cook said. “His knowledge on bowling, I know it’s obvious when he’s played 170 Test matches and taken 600 wickets, his knowledge on bowling, his skill factor, he’s without a doubt the most skilful seam bowler I’ve ever seen, played with, played against. That knowledge of how to get the ball to talk, to move on flat wickets, the swinging ball, that is gold sat there. Would Jimmy Anderson be a bowling coach? I couldn’t see him going away on tour and being England bowling coach, but him working with up and coming players on a consultancy players is an obvious thing for me just because of his knowledge.”

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