England news February 2, 2015

Australia coaching glut tempts Saker

David Saker is mulling over a host coaching opportunities in Australia © PA Photos

England could soon be looking for a new bowling coach if David Saker's ambitions to further his coaching ambitions are answered by one of a rush of vacancies in his native Australia.

Saker is only contracted to the ECB until the end of this year's Ashes series, but he is aware of vacancies at Queensland - where Stuart Law has recently stood down as coach - and South Australia - where Darren Berry is on extended leave and, according to reports in Australian newspapers, unlikely to return.

There is also an opening at Melbourne Renegades, where Simon Helmot's contract has not been renewed following a disappointing Big Bash season.

Such an excess of roles does not come along often and they will quicken Saker's thinking about where he sees his future.

While England are unlikely to allow Saker to leave on the eve of the World Cup, it is possible they would allow him to go before the Ashes. His reputation has dipped in recent times after changes made to Steven Finn's run-up on the ill-fated 2013-14 Ashes tour resulted in the bowler losing pace and confidence, while the failure to develop any death bowlers has hindered England's progress in limited-overs cricket.

Saker claimed he was verbally offered Warwickshire's director of cricket role at the end of 2012 - a claim strongly denied by the club as they appointed Dougie Brown - and he ultimately completed negotiations with England on a new contract a few months later.

Ottis Gibson would be one obvious candidate to replace Saker. He was England's fast bowling coach for a couple of years before Saker and returned to work for the ECB on the recent fast bowling camp in South Africa before Christmas after leaving his role as West Indies coach.

Former England seamer Richard Johnson would be another strong candidate. The current Middlesex bowling coach, who was central to Finn's partial recovery, is already well-thought of within the ECB and seemingly has been groomed for the position for some time.

George Dobell is a senior correspondent at ESPNcricinfo

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