Andrew McDonald, the former Australia allrounder, has emerged as a candidate to replace Trevor Bayliss as England's head coach. Bayliss will step down after four years in charge at the conclusion of the Ashes in September.
McDonald, who was good enough to play four Tests for Australia, is only 37 but has quickly made a name for himself as a coach. As well as leading Victoria to two Sheffield Shield titles and the one-day domestic cup, he also coached Melbourne Renegades to their first Big Bash title earlier this year. He has held coaching roles in the IPL, where he has been bowling coach at Royal Challengers Bangalore, and in county cricket, where he led a revival of Leicestershire from a low base.
Chris Silverwood remains favourite to succeed Bayliss, however. England's current bowling coach is popular with players and management and understands the current set-up well having been in the environment for the last couple of years. With England having undergone something of a cultural reinvention in the last 18 months - the result of much soul-searching after the Ben Stokes incident in Bristol and some tricky moments on the Ashes tour that followed - they are thought keen to appoint someone who understands the values of the team and the nature of many of the characters involved.
England men's team director, Ashley Giles, indicated in January that he would, in an ideal world, like to appoint an English head coach with three assistants - very likely to be Paul Collingwood, Graham Thorpe and, if he is not appointed to the top job, Silverwood - under him. The aim is for that new team to be in place ahead of the New Zealand tour, which starts in October, though it remains possible an interim coach could be appointed.
Meanwhile England have confirmed that Jonathan Trott will join the coaching team for the training days ahead of the Test against Ireland. Trott, once rated the ICC's cricketer of the year, is currently coaching the batsmen at Kent and spent part of the winter with the England Lions. With Mark Ramprakash having left the ECB, Thorpe will be the primary batting coach for the Ashes but it seems an opportunity may exist for a deputy. The Ireland Test, therefore, may well be considered something of a trial for Trott.