England news February 2, 2014

Giles flies into Pietersen debate

ESPNcricinfo staff

Ashley Giles, having confirmed his interest in the taking on the England team director's role, is set to play a central part in deciding Kevin Pietersen's international future next week. According to newspaper reports, a meeting has been scheduled for Tuesday, between Giles, Paul Downton and Alastair Cook, specifically to discuss Pietersen's involvement with the England team.

The meeting is not about selection, although it will directly influence the composition of England's World Twenty20 squad, which will be announced on Thursday. Andy Flower, who remains a selector despite stepping down as team director, is not expected to attend. Suggestions that Flower thought Pietersen should play no further part with England clouded the end of his reign.

Giles, the limited-overs coach who has previously referred to Pietersen as a "million-pound asset", Downton, England's new managing director, and the Test and ODI captain, Cook, will now try to determine a mutually agreed way forward.

Such ongoing issues, as well as the humiliation of a 7-1 reverse in the limited-overs matches in Australia, have not disturbed Giles' appetite to succeed Flower. He said after England suffered a T20 whitewash in Sydney that he would be applying for the post, which Flower vacated on Friday.

Giles has been installed as the bookmakers' favourite for a job that would reunite responsibility for England's Test, ODI and T20 teams under one coach and was described by Giles Clarke, the ECB chairman, as a "very strong candidate".

"I'd be very interested in doing the job definitely," Giles said. "I'm not going to deny that and I'm sure I'll be applying for the post.

"It's one of the biggest jobs in cricket and I'd apply for it because I want to do it, as someone who was very proud to play for England and been proud to coach the one-day side. To do the whole job would be a fantastic opportunity but it's hard work as well and we've got a lot of hard work to do before whoever is announced to get in shape for the world cup."

Giles, who played 54 Tests for England, said he had not been expecting Flower to step away and was immediately in touch with Downton.

"I was a little surprised at the timing and of the announcement full stop," Giles said. "Andy's obviously, not had enough but wanted to call it a day and I guess it is time to move on. I spoke to Paul after the announcement about where I stand. I didn't know the detail of Andy's standing down at the time so I wanted to get clear on that."

Having served as England one-day coach since the beginning of 2013, Giles appeared well placed to add the Test side to his remit but his cause has not been helped by a weak showing in Australia, where both the ODI and T20 series were lost at the earliest possible stage.

England will attempt to put their Australian nightmare behind them in the West Indies at the end of the month, before the World Twenty20 in Bangladesh, and Giles is well aware that results will feature prominently on his CV.

"I think it's important that I concentrate on what's coming up in the next couple of months," Giles said. "If I have to put an application in in the next couple of weeks then I'll think about it and get it done but results will talk as well.

"I've got a really big series in the West Indies and more importantly the World Cup in Bangladesh. Our record in the subcontinent for limited-overs cricket isn't great, so it's a good challenge. We're pretty much right at base-level now. And we've got a lot of hard work to do and a lot of talking to do to decide which 15 guys we take to Bangladesh to give us the best chance."

Giles's conversations with Downton will also concern the 15-man squad that England will select for the World T20. That squad, potentially plus an extra bowler, will travel to the West Indies for three ODIs and three T20s. James Whitaker, the new national selector, is expected to make his first announcement on Thursday, though Giles would not be drawn on Pietersen's chances of being included.

"We'll have a selection meeting when we get back to England," Giles said. "There's more than one bloke to talk about. You don't like guys living in fear but there's always careers and jobs on the line, whether coaching or playing, we've all got to be better and there'll be no substitute for hard work. That starts in the West Indies, guys can expect some early mornings and some late nights.

"We'll pick the squad this week and go from there. But picking those 15 names at the moment is going to be a tough task. I can't say how many changes there will be but conditions in Bangladesh will obviously be very different and we'll have to think about pace off the ball and spin options and think about our tactics full stop.

"Although we're playing three one-day games [in the Caribbean] it give us a good run in to Bangladesh. We need to do a lot of hard work and that will be good preparation."

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Jon on February 4, 2014, 17:23 GMT

    KP is a cooked goose anyway. He has looked woefully out of form for the last 18 months and his footwork is all over the place against anyone with a bit of pace. The English media and coaching staff are trying to hide behind the KP situation to mask the facts that we were weak and not good enough. No excuses but we have a very poor side at the moment. We need to deal with it and look for solutions rather than excuses.

  • Hardy on February 4, 2014, 17:18 GMT

    It seems a bit absurd that Giles can have such a big say in the future of one of England's key players before subsequently potentially losing his job if his application were to be unsuccessful. Just a thought.

  • John on February 3, 2014, 21:10 GMT

    @Vinod_Fab on (February 3, 2014, 19:35 GMT) My dream pair (if they managed like they captained) would be Collingwood doing the shorter formats with Vaughan doing the tests. The Vaughan side which beat Australia in 2005 won that series by coming from behind and playing positively and I feel Collingwood's captaincy was a huge part in winning the T20WC in 2010. Obviously just because they are good captains doesnt mean they'd make good supremos. But I like the idea of Ford grooming Vaughan if that's where you're going? Re KP , I still think the issue is that KP himself doesn't want to play all these matches and the man himself has as much influence as to which matches he plays and which he doesn't and I wouldn't be surprised if he has input into the decision re the T20WC

  • Vinod on February 3, 2014, 20:49 GMT

    Test XI: Cook,Root,Trott,KP,Bell,Stokes,Prior(bairstow),Panesar,broad,finn,anderson (bopara,tredwell,bresnan,rankin).. Depends upon the conditions and rotation policy this must be 15's in test matches ODI XI:(WC 2015) Cook,Bell,trott,KP,Morgan,Stokes(finn,bresnan,jordan,stokes) ,Butler,tredwell,broad,finn,anderson (carberry,bopara,bresnan,rankin).. T20 XI:(March WC) Hales,Lumb,KP,Wright,Morgan,Butler,bopara,tredwell,broad,anderson,rankin If i were the captain i will make KP bowl as he has decent height and he doesn't ball any freebies like BOREthwick. Rotate among these and use the resources Judiciously,if it's done then 2015 WC, series against SA and ASHES against AUS is there for the taking

  • Vinod on February 3, 2014, 20:13 GMT

    I have never seen anyone's as like KP's talent.. If u say Viv richards(he was but he was quite remarkably backed by those Mighty bowlers), if u say Ponting(again backed by the best bowlers), if u say Kallis (again those intimidating bowlers will come into picture), and if u say Don(those body line bowlers will come to ur mind) and if u say SACHIN(those spinners will be der always more often than not if he scores) but KP is in different league than all..From 05 till 14 he missed only 2 tests and played some extra ordinary series turning innings(i m not saying match turning innings,i m saying series turning ones) and when all teams were facing difficulties in matching AUS in 07 WC,KP was toying with them(that's ver this man stands)..Me being INDIAN fan follows ENG cricket when KP was slamming those great bowlers in Lords and he is such a confident bloke that he envision ENG dreams with his bat..KP--Once in a generation player(Let him play with that devastating instinct). 15 WC ll b our's

  • Vinod on February 3, 2014, 19:35 GMT

    @JG2704..Graham Ford/Michael Vaughan will be the best option to replace Andy(Atleast for next 2 years) imo. And as per your saying KP did told like the schedule is demanding but the main spotlight was on those back to back ASHES test series and meaningless ODI's.I am sure that the best coach can handle him very well (This T20 WC ,2015 ODI WC(may be just before WC he can play only 1 ODI series if scheduled and the practice matches before 2015 WC will do, All the test match series he should play till early 2016)..KP gave so much to ENG and give him his own space till early 2016..I sincerely wish ECB and all those high paid selectors or whosoever pls don't repeat the mistake of 2011 WC(It was QF vs SL and ENG did missed KP ven he was due for a big one,they say it was injury but i say it was utter nonsense from ECB to let ur Star player go when WC was on the cards) and 2nd one being the series against SA(They dropped KP and eventually dropped #1 status).I still believe he can produce goods

  • John on February 3, 2014, 17:19 GMT

    @ stumpedlloyd on (February 3, 2014, 16:33 GMT) Out of interest could it possibly just be that they are discussing KP's particicpation purely because (due to his fragility re injuries) the games he can play are limited and they are deciding (for example) whether the T20 WC is more important than the summer's test series' and whether they think he could manage both? I know it's not as interesting as thinking there's another dose of unrest within the dressing room but the only stories which hinted at unrest were quashed by Flower (who denied making an ultimatum) and Swann (who denied inferring it was KP he was talking about in his farewell speech)

  • John on February 3, 2014, 17:02 GMT

    @ 64blip on (February 3, 2014, 11:59 GMT) Could it not be because KP is the guy who has gone on record saying that the schedule is too demanding and they want to decide how to manage his workload based on what the guy has said himself? I don't think anyone's blaming KP for team's performances in Australia. He was just one of many lame ducks

    @ LancashireHotSpot on (February 3, 2014, 13:51 GMT) Who is actually calling for his head? One person on here has said that his ego far outweighs his performances and another guy has posted stats which prove that he isn't necessarily the saviour many portray him to be

  • John on February 3, 2014, 16:49 GMT

    @stumpedlloyd : the SL set up has very little egos and personalities. They are a relatively humble bunch. It is the administrators and politicians that take the cup and trip the players and coaches big time. All former foreign coaches (in the last 19 years) have had great words for the players.

    You are right in that Moody did a real good job there. He also has a lot of English experience. Will be a fine fit for England. As for Giles, i shudder at the thought of it. If anything England should have kept Flower and sent Giles home.

    I generally find KP annoying despite his talent and enjoy the England management vs. KP battles played out in the media. However, it feels utterly unfair that the ECB is hosting a conference to decide on his future.... It is hard being KP!

  • SR on February 3, 2014, 16:33 GMT

    I wonder how KP feels that the ECB is pretty much publicly admitting they are meeting about his future with the team. This is so asinine. Let KP be KP. If all this talk about how terrible a person he was in the dressing room is right, then Alastair Cook and Andy Flower aren't the great captain and team director everyone made them out to be. They couldn't manage one person in their squad? As for Giles becoming permanent coach: Please, say it ain't so. He just oversaw a 7-1 thrashing of his team at the hands of the Aussies. These weren't close games, people. England was beaten like a red-headed stepchild; they were eviscerated. And the coach who oversaw this massacre is the one ECB wants to coach the test side, as well? Brilliant! You know, Tom Moody has expressed interest in coaching the English side. Bring him in! He was very successful with Sri Lanka, where, believe me, you got far more egos and personalities, not to mention politics thrown in, to boot.

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