England news May 11, 2014

Mushtaq Ahmed loses England role

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Confirmation arrived on Monday that Mushtaq Ahmed, the former Pakistan legspinner, is the latest of England's backroom staff to lose their job in the Peter Moores reshuffle.* David Saker, the fast bowling coach, will continue with his current deal under the new set-up though.

Mushtaq was recruited by Moores in 2008, during his previous spell as England coach, after the pair had been together at Sussex when they won their first Championship title in 2003.

Mushtaq was involved in an era where Graeme Swann became one of England's greatest ever spinners, but he leaves with English spin bowling in one of its leanest patches with the strong possibility that they will not field a frontline spinner against Sri Lanka next month.

The decision, originally reported in the Guardian, did not come as a complete surprise for Mushtaq who had recently applied for a position with the Pakistan team which is also now under a returning head coach in Waqar Younis. The PCB confirmed that Mushtaq was in competition with Saqlain Mushtaq for the spin coach role, but came out on top.

Moores is keen to reduce the number of specialist coaches who are involved with England on match days, so Mushtaq was cut. Instead Peter Such, who looks after the spin programme at the academy in Loughborough, is expected to fill the role when required.

Mushtaq joins Graham Gooch, the former batting coach, and Richard Halsall, the fielding coach, in not retaining their roles under what is becoming an extensive restructuring exercise.

Saker, however, will be remain and will work with the young quick bowlers selected to play alongside the senior pair of James Anderson and Stuart Broad.

England's decision to take an attack full of tall quicks to Australia, and their subsequent failings, raised questions about Saker's role especially after the dramatic loss of form by Steven Finn. However, he can rightly point to the development of Anderson and Broad under his guidance, plus England's sustained period of success from 2009-2013, as factors in his favour. Last October he signed a contract that took him up to September 2015, which includes the next Ashes series.

England's backroom staff is gradually taking shape ahead of the start of Sri Lanka's visit which begins with a T20 later this month. Gooch's replacement is yet to be confirmed - Graham Thorpe and Mark Ramprakash remain favourites - while the future of Bruce French, the wicketkeeping coach, is still to be rubber stamped. With Moores and Paul Frabrace in position it is unlikely England will need a regular keeping specialist with the national side.

With inputs from Umar Farooq in Pakistan

*10.20GMT, May 12: This article was updated after Mushtaq Ahmed was named Pakistan's new bowling consultant

Andrew McGlashan is an assistant editor at ESPNcricinfo

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • on May 12, 2014, 15:07 GMT

    I think Collingwood or Strauss can be gud coach

  • Aroundthelegsgoogly on May 12, 2014, 14:37 GMT

    Mushi loses England spin coach job because England don't have any spin talent.

  • YorkshirePudding on May 12, 2014, 10:24 GMT

    @Paul rone-Clarke, you can hardly blame Saker for Tremlett, he wasn't taking wickets at Surrey last season and was a yard or more down on pace last season.

    finn, I think most of his problems were caused because he had to change his action to prevent him hitting the stumps, so was more focused on that than the delivery.

    In the end Saker probably keeps his job for at least the summer, though I expect hes on noticed that the bowling needs to improve or he'll be looking for a new position next year.

  • Haleos on May 12, 2014, 8:03 GMT

    I dont see any impact Musshie had on the team anyway. It would be great if they can have someone who can communicate with the players well.

  • jackiethepen on May 12, 2014, 7:06 GMT

    It seems odd that Pakistan who are masters of spin believe it is very important to have a spin bowling coach and England who now have only part time spinners think they can manage on their own? Something surely is wrong? Flower rated Saker highly. So this decision is part contractual and part Flower legacy.

  • on May 12, 2014, 6:43 GMT

    David Saker must also be asked to leave his position. He seems to be achieving absolutely nothing in the role. As for Mushy, being a top class leggie himself, you have to wonder how much coaching he can do with mostly finger spinners in the English game. Perhaps Swanny himself could do the job?

  • EdwinD on May 12, 2014, 6:31 GMT

    Why on Earth does any international team need specialist batting, fielding or bowling coaches??!! At that level the players should be good enough to perform, think for themselves and get results. It's not as if the game at County level is any different.....

  • disco_bob on May 12, 2014, 0:13 GMT

    England should try and snap up Lillee while the opportunity is here. Finn would be a worthwhile challenge.

  • on May 11, 2014, 23:50 GMT

    @Shane Bond taking nuthing away from Swann yes he did the hard work but ou need an advice a training for what exactly he should work on and what things they are missing so coming back to your point Mushi trains Swann without a good coach Swann will be just a regular bowler.

  • on May 11, 2014, 21:05 GMT

    I think our spin department is doing fine, ajmal has loads of experience and probably a good guide for the youngsters.How about we get a top level batting coach and hammer out the technical flaws of Pakistani batsmen?Graham Gooch?

  • on May 12, 2014, 15:07 GMT

    I think Collingwood or Strauss can be gud coach

  • Aroundthelegsgoogly on May 12, 2014, 14:37 GMT

    Mushi loses England spin coach job because England don't have any spin talent.

  • YorkshirePudding on May 12, 2014, 10:24 GMT

    @Paul rone-Clarke, you can hardly blame Saker for Tremlett, he wasn't taking wickets at Surrey last season and was a yard or more down on pace last season.

    finn, I think most of his problems were caused because he had to change his action to prevent him hitting the stumps, so was more focused on that than the delivery.

    In the end Saker probably keeps his job for at least the summer, though I expect hes on noticed that the bowling needs to improve or he'll be looking for a new position next year.

  • Haleos on May 12, 2014, 8:03 GMT

    I dont see any impact Musshie had on the team anyway. It would be great if they can have someone who can communicate with the players well.

  • jackiethepen on May 12, 2014, 7:06 GMT

    It seems odd that Pakistan who are masters of spin believe it is very important to have a spin bowling coach and England who now have only part time spinners think they can manage on their own? Something surely is wrong? Flower rated Saker highly. So this decision is part contractual and part Flower legacy.

  • on May 12, 2014, 6:43 GMT

    David Saker must also be asked to leave his position. He seems to be achieving absolutely nothing in the role. As for Mushy, being a top class leggie himself, you have to wonder how much coaching he can do with mostly finger spinners in the English game. Perhaps Swanny himself could do the job?

  • EdwinD on May 12, 2014, 6:31 GMT

    Why on Earth does any international team need specialist batting, fielding or bowling coaches??!! At that level the players should be good enough to perform, think for themselves and get results. It's not as if the game at County level is any different.....

  • disco_bob on May 12, 2014, 0:13 GMT

    England should try and snap up Lillee while the opportunity is here. Finn would be a worthwhile challenge.

  • on May 11, 2014, 23:50 GMT

    @Shane Bond taking nuthing away from Swann yes he did the hard work but ou need an advice a training for what exactly he should work on and what things they are missing so coming back to your point Mushi trains Swann without a good coach Swann will be just a regular bowler.

  • on May 11, 2014, 21:05 GMT

    I think our spin department is doing fine, ajmal has loads of experience and probably a good guide for the youngsters.How about we get a top level batting coach and hammer out the technical flaws of Pakistani batsmen?Graham Gooch?

  • jb633 on May 11, 2014, 21:00 GMT

    @Fahad, with or without Mustaq our spinners are probably worse than club level. We could do with lending some from you boys or India haha

  • hhillbumper on May 11, 2014, 20:33 GMT

    He should have stayed.The real question is why the hell David Saker is retained. He has made Finn go backwards and Jimmy is hardly in form either. WE left with 3 tall fast bowlers and they all got worse as the tour went on.

    Sack Saker because he is to bowling what KP is to team chemistry

  • on May 11, 2014, 20:25 GMT

    Just re-read it Saker's staying. Really? Finn? Tremlett? Bresnan? You remember these guys. The big tall guys who up until 2 years ago were all close to - or in Finn's case well above, 90mph and getting wickets regularly

    The same guys who now either roll the ball down at a village cricket like 77mph or are so messed up they wouldn't know their bowling action from a box of apples?

    The same Saker responsible for this keeps his job?

    How does that happen?

    Is this a joke?

  • on May 11, 2014, 20:20 GMT

    Whoever England pick as a spinner in the upcoming tests will likely be a "tick box" more than anything else. None available on the county circuit are worth a place on merit ahead of some of the great seamers coming through. A team hoping to make it in world cricket MUST have at least one international quality spinner, so now where is one going to come from. The cupboard is bare. I'm not impressed by any I see on the County circuit.

    While he is credited with helping Swann, where was his impact on any other bowler?

    It would be hard to name any new spinner come through or any established one improved in the past 4-5 years. Panesar has gone backwards. Tredwell is an honest "wheely-bin" spinner who, if anything, spins the ball less than when he started.

    Kerrigan?? Heaven help us if he's the best. I think one of the criteria should be "At least 4 balls an over bounce on the cut part of the pitch.. or indeed just bounce at all". Which rules Kerrigan out.

  • on May 11, 2014, 19:55 GMT

    mushtaq is going to get a job from pcb.for bowling coach of pakistan more likely saqlain will be appointed. and according to media mushtaq will be spin coach in pcb academy.

    he has a good time with england.

  • Iddo555 on May 11, 2014, 19:36 GMT

    Always seemed strange to me to have a leg spinning coach for the last 5-10 yrs when Swann was an off spinner.

    Mustaq would have been better hired by the ECB to work with young up and coming leg spinners in England rather than with Swann

  • on May 11, 2014, 19:10 GMT

    Pakistan should grab Mustaq with both hands as he is available he should be coaching Pakistan ageing ago.

  • cloudmess on May 11, 2014, 18:44 GMT

    It's probably fair enough - Mushy probably recognised the way the wind is currently blowing in English cricket and decided to get out. But it does seem to continue a move England currently have to fill all the ECB admin and coaching roles with 2nd rate ex-county players, and to get rid of anyone who either a) is foreign or b) was a success at test level. Perhaps it's just to ensure Peter Moores doesn't feel too much out of his depth.

  • Smithie on May 11, 2014, 18:16 GMT

    Boof - an opportunity to help the batsmen and the spinners. Grab it.

  • on May 11, 2014, 18:14 GMT

    While I have great respect for Mushi but I would vow in favor of Saqi as spin consultant as he is more assertive and is truly genius person. Apart from tours with national side, Pak would need a permanent coach at national academy to teach the batsmen on hoe to play spin variations and to rotate strike against them. We have seen a decline in the number of batsmen who can play spin effectively, after the transformation of spin bowlers in last 5-6 years.

  • on May 11, 2014, 16:07 GMT

    @Shahzab and AndyZaltzman I meant, it wasn't like without Mushtaq, Swann would've been a club level novice. Taking nothing away from Mushtaq but it was Swann's hard work which took him to top along with "some" guidance from Mushtaq.

  • Big_Chikka on May 11, 2014, 15:31 GMT

    seems like one of the few really solid ex player coaches out there in the spin department, can't think he'll be out of a job for too long...............

  • asiacricket1234 on May 11, 2014, 15:30 GMT

    Knew Pakistani fans will claim that Mustaq have done magic with English bowler and it is big lose. Truth is he has done nothing special. Swann has always been a top bowler and has done well in county cricket before he got into the national team. So Mustaq doesnt get any credit for his success. Also when spinner like Panesar was struggling Mustaq wasn't any help to them. Good decision from ECB to get rid of him. Hopefully they will find a coach that can actually help

  • Nadeem1976 on May 11, 2014, 14:21 GMT

    good decision, now Mushtaq can work for Pakistani team. thanks Eng.

  • on May 11, 2014, 13:41 GMT

    @shane is in denial, before mushy swann was a club level bowler at best.

  • AndyZaltzmannsHair on May 11, 2014, 12:52 GMT

    @Shane Bond: Graeme Swann himself rates Mushtaq as one of the primary reasons he became arguably the best spinner in the world. Pakistan should sign Mushy ASAP. Plenty of teams around the world would love his services.

  • on May 11, 2014, 12:44 GMT

    without mustaq england will be just like a team with club level spin bowling

  • on May 11, 2014, 12:34 GMT

    @Nasir Tariq Oh please, Swann made his name himself. It wasn't Mushtaq who made him the champion. Swann was always good (I've seen him performing from 2003-2007 in county curcuit) and it was only due to Duncan Fletcher's regime that he never got a chance.

  • yorkshire-86 on May 11, 2014, 12:14 GMT

    Englands 'tall quicks' did not fail, the selectors failed to pick them.

  • on May 11, 2014, 12:10 GMT

    For me this is one of a wrong thing to do, He made Greame Swann best England spinner, Gave him a name, he could have teached England spinners more but its good for us to if we can get him as a Spin Coach in Pakistan team, The Lights of Ajmal and Rahman, Hafeez will become more Dangerous

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  • on May 11, 2014, 12:10 GMT

    For me this is one of a wrong thing to do, He made Greame Swann best England spinner, Gave him a name, he could have teached England spinners more but its good for us to if we can get him as a Spin Coach in Pakistan team, The Lights of Ajmal and Rahman, Hafeez will become more Dangerous

  • yorkshire-86 on May 11, 2014, 12:14 GMT

    Englands 'tall quicks' did not fail, the selectors failed to pick them.

  • on May 11, 2014, 12:34 GMT

    @Nasir Tariq Oh please, Swann made his name himself. It wasn't Mushtaq who made him the champion. Swann was always good (I've seen him performing from 2003-2007 in county curcuit) and it was only due to Duncan Fletcher's regime that he never got a chance.

  • on May 11, 2014, 12:44 GMT

    without mustaq england will be just like a team with club level spin bowling

  • AndyZaltzmannsHair on May 11, 2014, 12:52 GMT

    @Shane Bond: Graeme Swann himself rates Mushtaq as one of the primary reasons he became arguably the best spinner in the world. Pakistan should sign Mushy ASAP. Plenty of teams around the world would love his services.

  • on May 11, 2014, 13:41 GMT

    @shane is in denial, before mushy swann was a club level bowler at best.

  • Nadeem1976 on May 11, 2014, 14:21 GMT

    good decision, now Mushtaq can work for Pakistani team. thanks Eng.

  • asiacricket1234 on May 11, 2014, 15:30 GMT

    Knew Pakistani fans will claim that Mustaq have done magic with English bowler and it is big lose. Truth is he has done nothing special. Swann has always been a top bowler and has done well in county cricket before he got into the national team. So Mustaq doesnt get any credit for his success. Also when spinner like Panesar was struggling Mustaq wasn't any help to them. Good decision from ECB to get rid of him. Hopefully they will find a coach that can actually help

  • Big_Chikka on May 11, 2014, 15:31 GMT

    seems like one of the few really solid ex player coaches out there in the spin department, can't think he'll be out of a job for too long...............

  • on May 11, 2014, 16:07 GMT

    @Shahzab and AndyZaltzman I meant, it wasn't like without Mushtaq, Swann would've been a club level novice. Taking nothing away from Mushtaq but it was Swann's hard work which took him to top along with "some" guidance from Mushtaq.