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February 3, 2014
Tom Moody, the former Australia international and Sri Lanka coach, will venture into administration by taking up a role as director of cricket for the Caribbean Twenty20 Premier League following its successful first tournament in 2013.
However, his acceptance of a position that will dovetail neatly with his coaching of Sunrisers Hyderabad in the IPL and a range of television commitments does not mean that Moody is ruling out the England coaching role left vacant by Andy Flower.
Previously approached by the ECB when they were weighing up options ahead of Flower's appointment in early 2009, Moody declined for family reasons after only recently returning home to Perth. But five years on, with his children almost done with high school, he is more open to greater travel.
"The England job is one that I think any aspiring coach would, depending on the timing of their life, want to take on, and I'm no different from that," Moody told ESPNcricinfo. "When the opportunity came up five years ago the timing wasn't right from a personal perspective, but I look at it from the point of view that I'm lucky to have a pretty unique balance of roles currently. So it's not something I've sent emails or made phone calls enquiring about, but if it presents itself I'll look at it seriously and see what unfolds.
"When Andy got it was when I'd first come back to Australia [after coaching Sri Lanka] and the reason I got off the circuit was the timing, from a personal point of view. It was time for me to put some roots down and see my kids through senior school. I've got one at university now and one completing senior school. I didn't want to miss that, so when it did present I thought, as much as it was an attractive opportunity with that group of players, it worked against everything I'd made the move back home to Perth for."
Having declined to enter the race for the job in 2009, Moody coached Western Australia until 2010, and enjoyed a successful start with Sunrisers Hyderabad, taking them to the IPL finals last year. He had been asked about a coaching role in the CPL following on from that, but has now accepted a wider remit to oversee the progress of the tournament and its recruitment of the best players, coaches and support staff available.
"Basically I'll be looking after all cricketing aspects, from trying to attract the best players to the best support staff and coaches, whether in the Caribbean or internationally," he said. "Also in regard to the league itself, making sure it's run as professionally as possible, so casting my cricketing eye and expertise over the running of the tournament, and being accountable to the media on all cricketing matters - it's all encompassing really.
"Once the format has been outlined you tend to have a lot of people showing interest in wanting to be involved, in a coaching capacity, or physio, trainer, players, and you get inundated with managers getting in touch. It is no different to what I'm involved in with the IPL at Sunrisers Hyderabad, but I'll be looking at it from an umbrella point of view where we've got six franchises. I'll be looking to help make sure we have the best, right across the six franchises."
Following an encouraging first edition of the event in 2013, the need for the CPL to develop into a strong source of growth for cricket in the region has been only enhanced by recent events at the ICC board table, where the "big three" of India, England and Australia have preached self-sufficiency while trying to push through a raft of fundamental changes to the game's global structure.
"Independent of what's happening at the ICC at the moment, obviously that's a concern for cricket, but what we saw from a distance in the first year in the CPL it has been something that has injected a huge amount of interest and enthusiasm to the game in the Caribbean," Moody said. "It's been a significant step towards West Indies cricket thriving.
"As we've seen in Australia, you've got to have a vehicle that is performing to create interest. This summer we've had two vehicles in the Ashes and the BBL to generate enormous interest in the game at two different levels, for different demographics. What the CPL has done is instead of having a standard domestic competition it has created a tournament that has energised the game in the region. It is very early days, but West Indies cricket in three to five years will benefit enormously if not before then."
Carving out a clear space for the CPL in an increasingly cramped calendar may also turn out to be critical to the longevity of West Indies cricket. "Like the BBL and the IPL, people are very aware of how big a window they take in the calendar because you want the best players available for your tournament," Moody said. "The CPL is not as well placed as the IPL for that and also doesn't have the same salary cap, but what it does have is a shorter window, a month-long, intense tournament played at a very high level."
Daniel Brettig is an assistant editor at ESPNcricinfo. He tweets hereFeeds: Daniel Brettig
© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.
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But you can't expect a turnaround unless pitches, umpiring and practice facilities are simultaneously improved