England coach could be county man
The ECB will interview for Andy Flower's successor in early April and has kept the window open for coaches without experience of working or playing at the international level.
The official job specification for the role has been released and whoever gains the role will not have the 'team director' title that belonged to Flower. The application process is open until March 28 with interviews set to begin the week commencing April 6.
It also confirms that the new man will be in charge of all three formats as the ECB unifies the coaching structure that was separated when Ashley Giles took over the limited-overs roles from Flower in early 2013. When Flower resigned earlier this month one of the reasons given was that he believed the England team needed one man in overall control.
The favourite for that position remains Giles, who is about to embark on a tour of West Indies before the World Twenty20 in Bangladesh next month. The final of the World T20 takes place on April 6, so if England were to get that far Giles would return to the UK in the week of the interviews.
The 'Experienced Required' section of the advert specifies: "Whilst international coaching and/or international playing experience is highly desirable, candidates who have coached at first-class level will also be considered for this position... Candidates must be able to point to a track record of success at first-class and/or international level achieved over an extended period of time."
There is a belief that the recruitment process is nothing more than a rubber-stamping exercise for Giles to be promoted and success over the next month would make that almost certain. However, if England's fortunes do not show a significant upturn following the debacle in Australia there will be pressure on the ECB to prove that it is open to new faces and new ideas.
While keeping the role available to those without international experience may be for legal reasons as much as anything it does mean that Mark Robinson, the Sussex coach currently with England Lions, and Nottinghamshire coach Mick Newell, who have both shown interest, remain in the frame.
But it is the former England coach Peter Moores who is gaining support in many quarters to be given a second chance in the job that he was sacked from following the falling out with Kevin Pietersen after the tour of India in late 2008. He remains one of the most highly regarded coaches in the county game and, it is understood, has been in the shake-up for international roles elsewhere in the intervening years.
Given the recent issues within the England set-up - dominated by the sacking of Pietersen - one of the key skills listed in the job specification stands out. "The Head Coach will be an outstanding communicator and man manager. Their focus will be on managing a competitive, highly skilled and self-reliant England team and an elite performance environment that demands exceptional standards of professionalism."
England, led by Giles and Stuart Broad, leave for the Caribbean on Friday where they will play three one-day internationals and three T20s. The squad selected is based around the World T20 with Broad leading the ODI side in place of the rested Alastair Cook.
Cook is one of the senior figures in English cricket, including the new managing director Paul Downton, who has yet to speak publicly since Pietersen was released from his central contract.
Andrew McGlashan is an assistant editor at ESPNcricinfo