The independent voice of cricket


Shane Warne throws hat in the ring to be England’s next head coach

by Kit Shepard 3 minute read

Shane Warne has confirmed that he would be interested in taking over the role of England men’s head coach, which is currently vacant.

Former head coach Chris Silverwood was sacked following England’s humiliating 4-0 Ashes series defeat in Australia, and his successor is yet to be determined, with Paul Collingwood to take charge as interim during the upcoming Test tour of the West Indies.

Warne is set to coach London Spirit’s men’s side in The Hundred this summer, but would relish the opportunity to lead England if they came calling.

“I’d like to do it, it’s a great time to be England coach,” he said on the Sky Sports Cricket Podcast. “I think I’d do a pretty good job, there’s a lot to work with. There are so many good players in England and a lot of depth, but you’ve got to get some of the basics right. You can’t bowl no-balls and drop so many catches, but you’ve got the players, they’re just not performing.”

The great Australia leg-spinner criticised England’s selection and tactics during the Ashes.

Legendary seamer James Anderson was left out of the first Test on a green Brisbane wicket, before captain Joe Root publicly called out his attack for bowling too short in the second Test at Adelaide.

“England had plenty of opportunities through the series but in the big moments they couldn’t nail it with bat or ball,” Warne said. “That first Test at Brisbane – the whole series could have been different if they just looked down at the pitch rather than planning about day/night Tests in Adelaide and who was going to play in that game.

“It had rained for three weeks in Brisbane. It was green and seaming all over the place and you have the best seam bowler in the world in Jimmy Anderson, and they’re resting him for the pink-ball game. They didn’t do themselves any favours.

“I didn’t mind Joe Root giving them a bit of a rocket and saying they didn’t get it right [at Adelaide], maybe they weren’t listening to the plans. It’s pretty hard to get your tactics right when the bowlers aren’t executing what they’re meant to do, but surely you sit down with the bowlers and sort it out.”

If Warne is considered for the England role, he will likely be competing with Justin Langer, who stepped down as Australia coach after the Ashes.

Langer had led his country to T20 World Cup and Ashes triumphs, but his intense style was reported to be unpopular with Australia’s players, and he rejected a six-month contract extension earlier this month.

Andrew Strauss, England’s interim managing director, declined to rule Langer out of contention after he left the Australia position, with several touting him as a leading candidate to take charge.

Warne, who was part of dominant Australia sides with Langer in the 1990s and 2000s, defended his former team-mate.

“Cricket Australia were disgraceful in the way they handled it,” he said. “Winning an Ashes series and a World Cup, it doesn’t get much bigger than that. But [Langer] was a dead man walking. When I didn’t hear the captain or any other players sticking up for him, saying he was fantastic, I found that really disappointing.

“Why couldn’t Cricket Australia come out and say they were not renewing his contract straight away but would wait until the end of the summer, see who the best candidate is, and if Langer is still the best candidate give him a contract? If I were England I’d be jumping at him.”

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