Trevor Bayliss has been confirmed as England's new coach the day after it emerged that he had become the ECB's preferred choice ahead of Jason Gillespie. He will join the ECB next month ahead of the Ashes series which begins in July.
Bayliss, 52, a former Sri Lanka coach who led them to the World Cup final in 2011 and No. 2 in the Test rankings, is currently coach of New South Wales where he has won two Sheffield Shield titles in separate stints, Sydney Sixers in the Big Bash and Kolkata Knight Riders in the IPL. He briefly coached Australia last year during a Twenty20 series against South Africa and his appointment will see him reunited with Paul Farbrace who was his assistant with Sri Lanka. Both men were in the team bus that was attacked by terrorists in Lahore in 2009.
His pedigree in limited-overs cricket was a key factor in his favour ahead of Gillespie as England look to overturn their horrendous white-ball form in time for next year's World T20 in India followed by the 2017 Champions Trophy and 2019 World Cup - both of which will be held in England.
"It's an honour to be appointed England coach," Bayliss said. "There's a great opportunity to help Alastair Cook and Eoin Morgan shape the direction and development of their respective teams. I am also looking forward to working alongside Paul Farbrace once again as we have a similar outlook on the game, get on well after two years working together and have kept in touch.
"What particularly excites me about the role is the chance to work with a very talented group of players. I firmly believe that the team has a bright future and I'll be doing everything I can to help them realise their potential and achieve success on a consistent basis."
Bayliss was the only non-Englishman interviewed just over a year ago when England searched for a replacement for Andy Flower before they eventually settled on returning to Peter Moores - an appointment that lasted barely 12 months. Bayliss was told, at the time, that he had interviewed well but that the preference was for an English coach. While England have used specialist Australian coaches in the past - the likes of David Saker, who was bowling coach - and have had two head coaches from Zimbabwe, they have never previously employed an Australian as head coach.
Andrew Strauss, the director of England cricket, said: "Trevor has an outstanding record as coach, has global experience and is very highly regarded in the game. He has proved himself in both domestic and international cricket, has a strong reputation for man-management and has shown how to build winning teams in all three formats.
"His expertise in the shorter forms of the game will be vital as we build towards three major ICC events over the next four years
"Trevor will also work well with Paul Farbrace, an exceptional coach who will continue as assistant coach after helping us to an outstanding victory over New Zealand in the first Investec Test of the summer. This has been a very competitive recruitment process and we're grateful to all of the candidates who showed their interest in this role. I'm excited to have him on board."
Meanwhile, the current Australia coach Darren Lehmann looked forward to locking horns in the Ashes. "Trevor has been a great servant of the game in Australia and has had great success with NSW in both long and short format, as well as with the Sydney Sixers and Kolkata Knight Riders in T20s," he said. "He did a great job for us when he took the reins in the International T20s against South Africa last year.
"A trademark of Trevor's teams is that they are well prepared and this just serves as another reminder to us that this Ashes will be a tough contest. I congratulate him on his appointment and wish him all the best."
Andrew Jones, the New South Wales chief executive, said: "Trevor has been an outstanding coach for NSW and internationally. He has a wonderful ability to get the best out of sides with his firm but low key approach. And his attacking attitude as a batsman develops a belief in proactive and entertaining players and teams.
"His appointment as England coach is another feather in the cap for NSW cricket, which continues to produce players and coaches of outstanding quality. The highly anticipated Ashes series will now have an extra dimension, with Trevor coming up against nine NSW players he helped mentor who make up the bulk of Australia's squad.
In the short term, Farbrace will remain in charge for the second Test against New Zealand at Headingley and the limited-overs games that follow it.