England news January 29, 2016

Farbrace turns down Surrey approach

Paul Farbrace had emerged as a target for Surrey © Getty Images

Surrey have been rebuffed in their approach to appoint Paul Farbrace, England's assistant coach, as successor to Graham Ford*. Ford has agreed a second spell in charge of Sri Lanka but ESPNcricinfo understands that Farbrace has turned down the chance to join Surrey.

After the departure of Ford - a move that was flagged last summer - Surrey's loss could have become England's loss. Farbrace emerged as the top target to take over at Surrey and was contacted with a view to discussing the role. Instead, he has signed a new contract with the ECB.

Farbrace has been a key figure in the England revival. It was during his interim period in charge that the England limited-overs squad reinvented themselves after a wretched World Cup performance and, with his relaxed yet high-energy approach, he has played a huge role in improving the environment around the squad. Liked, trusted and respected by the players, Farbrace is the dominant figure in training sessions and has been credited with creating a dressing room environment that is relaxed but focused. His departure would have been a considerable loss.

But, like many of the England backroom staff, Farbrace has wearied of the relentless schedule that sees them spend more than 300 days each year in hotels. The offer may have come a little early - the England camp are quietly excited about the possibilities this side has of rising up the Test rankings and competing in global events such as the 2017 Champions Trophy and the 2019 World Cup - but the prospect of working at a large club with a group of highly talented young players and having the opportunity to spend far more of the year in one place would have been tempting. Surrey are also one of very few clubs who could exceed the salary offered by England.

Farbrace joined the England set-up in 2014, as assistant to Peter Moores, after briefly coaching Sri Lanka. His stock has continued to grow alongside Trevor Bayliss, England's current head coach, and it is understood he was on Sri Lanka's short list before the re-appointment of Ford.

With Farbrace declining Surrey's interest, Graham Thorpe is among those likely to be targeted. Thorpe, a former Surrey player and currently the ECB's lead batting coach, is another who has tired of touring. Though his current role allows him to remain in England for much of the year, a chance to return to The Oval might prove hard to refuse.

Meanwhile, Ottis Gibson, England's bowling coach, was informally approached by Glamorgan with a view to applying for the coaching role vacated by Toby Radford, but is understood to have declined.

2pm GMT - This story was updated after Farbrace declined Surrey's approach

George Dobell is a senior correspondent at ESPNcricinfo

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Ray on January 29, 2016, 17:59 GMT

    @Nutcutlet: No doubt Ford's departure is a big loss. I don't normally support former playing 'legends' returning on the coaching/ management front

  • haze on January 29, 2016, 16:02 GMT

    Surely a county has to give moores a go!! It is crazy that for years he was a good cc coach and now because of his association with the national team his name has become a "no no", before he helped notts last year their batsman where at sixes and sevens!! he appeared to help them pretty much immediately! I am not saying that Surrey is the right team but the English county cricket clubs should have more about them than to ignore moores ( other than Newel, they have run a mile!! Nice, as they have all seen and worked alongside him in cc! I hope he gets a chance somewhere, as his county cv should not be ignored by the counties!!!

  • Ranil on January 29, 2016, 15:43 GMT

    Ford's is a great loss to Surrey but for him the Sri Lankan job is more rewarding & challenging, specially many WC cricket coming around. Both Farbrace & Ford have had stints in Sri Lanka & Surrey & so can hope Trevor to complete the picture with a stint in Surrey after the England job.

  • ian on January 29, 2016, 15:13 GMT

    Alec Stewart has a lot of work to do now! Surrey has built up a momentum over the two Ford years.... It needs to be kept going. Graham Thorpe is a genuine Surrey man, but he lacks management experience. Still, that doesn't say he can't do a decent job. His commitment will be absolute.

  • haze on January 29, 2016, 14:45 GMT

    Nooooooo!!!! Surrey England's biggest competition!!! Can't they take Peter moores??? He deserves another chance with a county and England have really benefitted with Farbs!!!

  • Russell on January 29, 2016, 14:17 GMT

    Let's hope Farbrace stays with England. I've been more impressed with his input than I have with Bayliss so far. It was Farbrace who decided to move Stokes to 6 when he was in charge before Bayliss took over. He was previously batting at 8 which seems crazy now

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