Chris Silverwood, Essex's head coach, is set to be appointed as the successor to Ottis Gibson as England's bowling coach. According to reports, Silverwood will take up the role full time from January, with Shane Bond already in place as bowling consultant for the Ashes.
Silverwood has enjoyed two successful years in charge at Chelmsford, leading the club to their first Championship title in 25 years this summer. He joined Essex under Paul Grayson as bowling coach in 2010, having previously had a short player-coach stint with Mashonaland Eagles in Zimbabwe.
He has international experience as a player, winning six Test and seven ODI caps in the 1990s and early 2000s. Having come through with Yorkshire, he went on to join Middlesex in the latter part of his career.
Gibson left last month to take the head coach's role with South Africa after a second successful spell overseeing England's bowlers. Silverwood was one of a number of those linked with the England role and he was given permission by Essex to join up with the national squad in Bristol for an ODI against West Indies.
In the wake of Essex's surprise Championship title - they were only promoted last year, having won Division Two - Silverwood declined to talk about the possibility of leaving for England, preferring to celebrate county success. He was subsequently named as one of the Lions coaches for the trip to Australia in November.
Bond is only due to work with England until the end of the second Test, in Adelaide, but Silverwood is not expected to take up his new role until after the Ashes, starting with the limited-overs series. The tour of Australia will then be followed by a trip to New Zealand.
Essex will feel the loss, after Silverwood turned the team around from a period of underachievement in the second tier. His assistant, fellow Yorkshireman Anthony McGrath, is likely to take charge in the short term and might be considered favourite to be appointed full time.