England news May 18, 2015

Gillespie set for Strauss meeting; Moody in frame

Jason Gillespie remains the favourite for the England job but a couple of fellow Australians are also in the mix © Getty Images

Jason Gillespie is due to meet ECB officials in the next few days to discuss the vacant England coaching position.

Although Gillespie, the former Australia fast bowler, has expressed his contentment in his current role as coach at Yorkshire, he will meet Andrew Strauss, England's new director of cricket, in the coming week to discuss the role and is believed to be open-minded about his options. Not only would the job come with a handsome pay rise on his current salary, but whoever is offered it will be given assurances that they will have time to turn around the fortunes of the England side.

With a tough year coming up - the next four Test series are against New Zealand and Australia (at home) and Pakistan and South Africa (away) - all serious candidates are likely to require such assurances after Peter Moores was sacked after just 13 months in charge.

Gillespie, who was confirmed as a candidate by Strauss last week, is one of a quartet of Australians in whom the ECB have shown some interest. While Justin Langer, the Western Australia and Perth Scorchers, has essentially ruled himself out after calling a press conference to announce he had extended his contract with Western Australia and Perth Scorchers.

Tom Moody (currently with Sunrisers Hyderabad, but previously Sri Lanka coach) and Trevor Bayliss (currently with Sydney Sixes and Kolkata Knight Riders) remain strong candidates.

Gary Kirsten, the former South Africa and India coach, is another man identified as a strong candidate by the ECB. He ruled himself out of the reckoning at an early stage the last time England were recruiting, just over a year ago, so it may prove relevant that he has not chosen to do so on this occasion.

Leading English candidates, such as Ashley Giles, who won the County Championship title with Warwickshire and is now with Lancashire, and Mark Robinson, who has won numerous trophies, including two County Championship trophies, at Sussex, appear to be viewed - unfairly - as damaged goods.

Giles was England's limited-overs coach when the side reached the final of the Champions Trophy in 2013, but also presided over the wretched World T20 campaign in 2014. He was never given full control of the England team - Andy Flower remained head coach - and almost never had a full strength ODI squad from which to pick.

Robinson has an excellent record at Sussex and has recently impressed as Lions coach within the England set-up. But his close relationship with Moores - Robinson's early coaching experience came as Moores' assistant at Sussex - and his lack of international experience looks set to count against him.

That means that England look set to name their third foreign-born coach in four appointments - Duncan Fletcher and Flower were both born in southern Africa - and could well lead to a situation where both coaches in the forthcoming Ashes series are former Australia players. It remains quite possible that a limited-overs coach will be appointed underneath the head coach.

Some stumbling blocks remain. Several potential candidates have expressed their unease at the extent of the decisions already taken by Strauss - not just over the future of Kevin Pietersen, but over the appointment of captain and vice-captain as well - while the speed with which Moores and Paul Downton were sacked, and the somewhat clumsy manner in which it was done, have not convinced everyone that the ECB are necessarily the most benevolent employers.

George Dobell is a senior correspondent at ESPNcricinfo

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