England news May 11, 2014

Mushtaq Ahmed loses England role


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

  • Android on May 12, 2014, 15:07 GMT

    I think Collingwood or Strauss can be gud coach

  • Imran on May 12, 2014, 14:37 GMT

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

  • Jason 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.

  • Rakesh 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.

  • Jackie 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.

  • Dummy4 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?

  • Edwin 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 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.

  • Dummy4 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.

  • Dummy4 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?

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