print icon

Graham Thorpe to oversee England quarantine training in Australia

White-ball coaches to link up post-World Cup, as Collingwood warns about bubble life

Joe Root  talks to Graham Thorpe ahead of a training session, Nottingham, July 11, 2018

Graham Thorpe, pictured with Test captain Joe Root, will oversee the initial leg of the Ashes tour  •  Getty Images

Graham Thorpe, England men's assistant coach, will head up the advance party's preparations for the Ashes, when the Test specialists and Lions arrive in Australia this weekend.
Thorpe will stand in for head coach Chris Silverwood while England's white-ball squad complete their T20 World Cup campaign in the UAE, with the tour party due to undergo 14 days of quarantine on the Gold Coast, before moving to Brisbane to play two intra-squad warm-up matches later in the month.
The extended squad, including the 15-man Lions party, is due to arrive in Australia on Saturday, a month in advance of the first Test at the Gabba, starting on December 8. They will undergo three days of hard quarantine, but have been granted an exemption to undertake socially distanced training at Carrara's Metricon Stadium from November 10-20.
Thorpe will be assisted in this initial period by Jon Lewis, the ECB's elite pace bowling coach, along with Carl Hopkinson (fielding coach), Bruce French (wicketkeeping consultant) and Jonathan Trott (batting consultant), all of whom will remain with the Lions squad. Kent's Min Patel and Nottinghamshire's Ant Botha have also been seconded from the county network to assist with the tour.
England's former bowling coach, Troy Cooley - who played a key role in honing England's pace attack ahead of the 2005 Ashes - is understood to have been recruited to assist with the squad's build-up to the first Test, with an announcement expected in the coming days.
The coaching staff will be completed once the white-ball squad has completed its own quarantine period, with Silverwood due to be joined by Paul Collingwood, Jeetan Patel and James Foster, all of whom are currently in Sharjah preparing for England's final group match against South Africa on Saturday, with their place in the semi-finals all but certain.
Speaking from England's white-ball camp in the UAE, Collingwood welcomed the chance to get stuck into the next leg of their winter campaign.
"We've got two exciting parts of our cricketing history and that's the T20 World Cup and the Ashes," Collingwood said. "I'm very much looking forward to being a part of it.
"I'll be 100% honest, I'm not great with bubble life, I don't really enjoy it that much, but I'm hoping Australia is going to have a little bit more freedom out there to go and enjoy the country and the cricket, because to be successful out there is hard work but it's very satisfying if you do well."
The ECB and Cricket Australia, in consultation with Australia's state and federal governments, agreed to a number of measures to enable the Ashes to take place this winter in spite of the country's stringent Covid-19 restrictions, including an allowance for families to join the tour. While Collingwood was grateful for the concessions, he warned that the use of bio-secure environments for international tours could not last indefinitely.
"I think world cricket has done really well so far, in terms of how much bubble life we've done," he said. "We all cope in different ways. It's tough. Being very honest, I'm not sure how much more bubble life world cricket can take - not just the England team, I'm saying world cricket here.
"We're going to have to look closely at mental welfare moving forwards. I don't think it can continue for too much longer," Collingwood added. "I think a lot of players and management around the world are close to capacity in terms of how much they can take with this. Hopefully the hierarchy look into it and in the future we find ways that we're not so restricted.
"It puts a lot of pressure on, not just individuals, but families as well. It can be tough at times but we're here to help each other out in these environments and hopefully have some good friends in here that help you out when you have some dark days."
England Ashes Coaching Team
Head coach: Chris Silverwood
Assistant coaches: Paul Collingwood, Graham Thorpe
Elite pace bowling: Jon Lewis
Elite spin bowling: Jeetan Patel
Wicketkeeping consultant: James Foster
England support and Lions Coaching Team
Elite Fielding coach: Carl Hopkinson
Batting consultant: Jonathan Trott
Wicketkeeping consultant: Bruce French
Coaching consultant: Ant Botha
Spin-bowling consultant: Min Patel