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April 6, 2009
It is just three months since Peter Moores was unceremoniously sacked as England coach but he hasn't had long to dwell on that crazy week in early January that rocked the national team. A matter of days after he was made jobless the phone rang and it was Mike Watkinson, Lancashire's new cricket director, and a few weeks later Moores was unveiled as the new coach.
Now he is eager for his latest challenge as he puts the finishing touches to pre-season plans with the county that he grew up watching as a kid. The England departure clearly still rankles with him, but the chance to put his energies into something constructive has been a blessing. Lancashire fans always expect trophies - even if their last Championship came in 1934 - and the long success-starved period doesn't sit well around Old Trafford.
"It was a bit of fatalist, it came along at the perfect time in some ways for me," Moores said. "If someone had asked me in December if I thought I'd be Lancashire coach now you'd never have guessed that. Mike phoned me up and asked if I'd be interested, at the time you were still reeling a bit, but as I went through the interview process I knew it was a great club having played against them and been brought up around here. The chance to be involved with moulding some success here was very exciting."
County cricket does seem a perfect home for Moores. It is where he made his coaching name with Sussex before moving to the England Academy set-up and finally to the top job after Duncan Fletcher left following the 2007 World Cup. One of the reasons cited for the relationship with Kevin Pietersen falling apart was that he was too demanding of the players to do things his way. However, that system can work better in the domestic game where player development is a much more focal aspect of the coaching role.
"County cricket to international cricket is different because of the amount we play," he said. "The game is still the same, the basics are the same, as a coach you are trying to create opportunities for people to play but still remembering it's about the player. If we win it'll be because Glen [Chapple] has led a team of players who have played well. The coach can input to a degree but then the players have to do the stuff. That's the same whether you play for your country, county or league side.
"The one thing about international cricket is that it's all about preparation. County cricket is a playing-based culture, but you still need to find time to work on your skills and fitness to make sure you can maintain form throughout the season."
Clearly Moores' coaching style didn't fit with the England set-up as Michael Vaughan had also struggled to develop a relationship with him. However, he isn't going to re-think the way he goes about his job and once again insisted he had no regrets.
"All my experiences are about reflecting, that's how you get better," Moores said. "I certainly look back on things I might have done differently, but I have no regrets at all about it. It didn't make me think 'oh, we've done that fundamentally wrong'. I know I gave it everything I'd got and committed fully to it. It didn't work, okay, because of a certain set of circumstances and that's life."
Moores could have been guiding England into a huge summer of action that includes the World Twenty20 and Ashes but he refuses to linger on thoughts of a lost opportunity. "It's like most things when you lose a job like that," he said. "At the time it hurts but I've moved on pretty quickly. When you work with a new group of players and see their passion you aren't looking back any more. You only look one way and that's forward."
Stats highlights from the fourth ODI between India and West Indies in Dharamsala