Warwickshire have completed the signing of Ashley Giles as their new director of cricket.
Giles, a former Warwickshire player and coach, had been the club's first choice for the position long before they sacked Dougie Brown in October. Giles was contracted to Lancashire until the end of 2017, however, and it is understood that negotiations between the clubs were only concluded on Christmas Eve.
While a compensation package has been agreed, it is understood the move is amicable. Lancashire has been sympathetic to Giles' family situation - his wife has suffered serious illness and the family home remains in the Midlands - and wished him well for his future.
A Lancashire statement said: "Over the last 12 months the board and staff at Lancashire have supported Ashley and his family during a difficult period due to the time Ashley's role has kept him away from his wife and family. After lengthy discussions the board has agreed to give further support to Ashley's personal circumstances and has given him permission to discuss a move to his home county in the best interests of his family."
The role is something of a departure for Giles. He is expected to be seen in a suit more often than a tracksuit, fulfilling a management and planning role not unlike that adopted by Andrew Strauss with the England team. Giles will, therefore, leave the day-to-day running of the first team to Jim Troughton - whose appointment as head coach he approved even before his move was finalised - and his team of specialist coaches. Giles and Troughton were the coach-captain partnership when Warwickshire won the County Championship in 2012. Head of women's cricket, Darren Franklin, and elite performance manager, Paul Greetham, will also report to Giles.
"Ashley's appointment completes the new structure of our Senior Management team at Edgbaston," Neil Snowball, the Warwickshire CEO, said. "Ashley has enjoyed great success as a coach and director of cricket and this new expanded role will allow him to apply his experience and expertise across the organisation and to develop the Warwickshire and Birmingham Bears teams at all levels.
"He has also worked very closely with Jim Troughton as a player and in his previous role with the club as Director of Cricket, where they led the team to our seventh County Championship in 2012. We're very confident that the new management team can deliver more success for the club, not just at senior level, but across all age groups.
"I would like to express my thanks to Lancashire for their understanding and for agreeing to release Ashley from his contract to be able take up this new role at Edgbaston."
Giles enjoyed a 13-year playing career with Warwickshire before he took over as director of cricket in 2007, and subsequently helped the club achieve County Championship success in 2012 and a one-day cup triumph at Lord's in 2010. He was appointed head coach of England's limited-overs squads in late 2012 and led the team to the Champions Trophy final at Edgbaston in 2013.
But, having lost his job in the reorganisation following the Ashes debacle of 2013-14, he joined Lancashire as director of cricket ahead of the 2015 season, winning the NatWest T20 Blast as well as securing promotion to Division One of the County Championship in his first year.
"I thoroughly enjoyed my time at Lancashire and I would like to thank the club's Chairman, Michael Cairns, and the board for the opportunity to work as Director of Cricket at such a great club," Giles said. "I am also very grateful for their understanding and for agreeing to release me from my contract so that I can take up this new role with Warwickshire and move back to the Midlands, where my family have remained.
"I have thoroughly enjoyed working with the players and management team at Emirates Old Trafford in this past two years. I thank them for their support and hard work, and wish them well for the future.
"The new role at Edgbaston is a great opportunity and I am delighted to return to Warwickshire. Whilst I have a lot of history with the Bears and have previously enjoyed success as a player and a coach, this is a brand new challenge and I look forward to meeting up with all the players and the new management team in January."
Lancashire have named Glen Chapple as acting head coach and Mark Chilton as acting assistant while they reflect on how to reorganise.