England's 'retain Fletcher' programme April 24, 2005

ECB keen to see Fletcher continue

Cricinfo staff

Duncan Fletcher and Michael Vaughan have formed a superb combination for England over the last couple of years © Getty Images

The England and Wales Cricket Board has indicated that it is keen to see Duncan Fletcher carry on as coach of the England team, and is likely to hold talks with him to ensure that he continues with his current job.

The BBC website quoted David Morgan, the ECB chairman, as saying: "It's important we look at Duncan's career plan with him. In business terms, he's a senior manager and we don't want to lose him." Fletcher has been England's coach for almost six years now, during which time England have jumped up to second-best Test team in the world, but there were rumours that he would step down after the Ashes series this summer.

Morgan has requested that Fletcher meet up with David Collier, the ECB chief executive, and John Carr, the head of England team affairs. "We want to make the best use of his talents going forward," Morgan told The Sunday Times. "David and John will be working out with Duncan a career plan for him, as we do with all senior people.

"The England head coach should be the subject of that same process in order that we demonstrate the value we place on him. He's a thoroughly good bloke and a top operator. He's a vital part of the England team and I'm sure he's going to be with us for a long time to come."

Morgan also scoffed at reports that Fletcher could quit after the Ashes. "I can't believe that. I've had no indication that he's thinking about a change. His enthusiasm seems to be as high as ever. I'm sure he's ready to give the Ashes series and Bangladesh his best shots."

Meanwhile, Michael Vaughan, the current England captain, also hoped that Fletcher would continue. "He plays a massively important role off the field with plans and his coaching ability and probably doesn't get the credit which he fully deserves. I certainly hope he gets his pen and signs a contract which keeps him with England for a few years yet."

Fletcher has worked wonders with the team since he came on board, but the one task he hasn't been able to accomplish is to help England regain the Ashes. On both occasions when he has been the coach - in 2001 and in 2002-03 - England have lost 4-1.