Bussing in the coaches
Peter Moores is on the brink as England coach after a very public falling-out with his captain, Kevin Pietersen. Cricinfo takes a look at five possible candidates to replace him
Pros New to this coaching lark after retiring in 2007, but started well at Warwickshire by guiding the county back into the first division. More importantly, he is guaranteed Pietersen's respect as a fellow Ashes winner in 2005. A Fletcher acolyte, professionalism was his watchword throughout a career in which he made the absolute most of his (often underestimated) talents. A sound option as a stand-in for the Caribbean.
Cons Inexperience at the highest level of coaching could count against him, especially in the furnace of an Ashes campaign. His closeness to the senior members of the England squad might aid him in the short term, but the dressing-room is already too much of a cosy clique for some commentators. If England's results didn't improve, his position would be even less tenable than Moores'.
Pros Already mentioned in dispatches as Pietersen's ideal sidekick. The pair worked together during Pietersen's formative years at Natal, and Ford even intervened with Ali Bacher in an attempt to persuade him not to throw in his lot with South African cricket. "He has remained someone in the game I both respect and admire," wrote Pietersen in his autobiography, and Ford's record as South Africa's coach between 1999 and 2002 backs up that standing - eight series wins out of 11. Turned down the India role earlier this year, but with his current employers, Kent, compounding their financial woes with their surprise relegation last summer, the time may have come for a change.
Cons Few outstanding drawbacks, though a man of his reputation wouldn't come cheap. His nationality might prove to be more of an issue - following hot on the heels of Duncan Fletcher's seven-year tenure, and with KP firmly ensconced in the captaincy, the ECB might not want another Southern African in quite such a prominent job. After all, Moores' Englishness was one of his USPs.
Pros A double World Cup winner with Australia, so his playing credentials are clearly in order. As for his coaching reputation, that was propelled skywards during his euphoric two-year stint as Sri Lanka's coach between 2005 and 2007, where he formed the tightest of bonds with his captain, Mahela Jayawardene. His familiarity with all things English is not in question either - he played for Warwickshire and Worcestershire throughout the 1990s, and has an English wife, Helen.
Cons England have come calling 18 months too late. Had they made the effort to court him in the immediate aftermath of Fletcher's resignation, they might have got their man. But now he is happily bedded down in his native Western Australia, from where he has said he doesn't intend to move on for at least "three to five years". He has two young children and has lost his taste for living his life out of a suitcase.
Pros As Zimbabwe's greatest player, and one of the finest players of spin of all time, Flower has more than enough pedigree to satisfy Pietersen's thirst for a counterpart who can challenge and inspire. Liked and respected by the dressing-room, and after the trials and tribulations of his playing days, he is well versed in the political shenanigans that increasingly play a part in top-level cricket.
Cons Moores' second-in-command, and therefore guilty by association for the stagnation that has gripped the team this year. As batting coach, he has proved powerless to inject any urgency into Ian Bell's career, or halt the alarming regression of Alastair Cook. Was already rumoured to be seeking a new challenge after an unfulfilling year, and could probably do with furthering his coaching experience away from the international scene.
Pros Never mind the ego trip involved in this power struggle, what Pietersen wants, above all else, is a man to teach him the art of international captaincy, because he knows - after his failure to defend 387 at Chennai - that he's not yet savvy enough in the field. Why not go the whole hog, then, and appoint as his sidekick the one leader he respects above all others? Vaughan may not be up to it as a batsman any longer, but he could happily lurk in the background, guiding and advising, and perhaps even occasionally taking the field like a souped-up Gary Pratt.
Cons Clique, what clique?
Andrew Miller is UK editor of Cricinfo