The ECB has invited Graeme Swann to work with England's best young spinners.
Swann, who claimed 255 wickets in his 60 Tests and was arguably England's best offspinner since Jim Laker, has been contacted by Peter Such, the ECB's lead spin bowling coach, and asked to work with England Under-19s and those in contention for a Lions place. It is understood Swann will undertake several sessions at Loughborough, not far from his Nottingham home, ahead of the winter tours.
Alastair Cook recently brushed off questions about Swann's involvement as a coach, suggesting he was too busy with his media commitments. Swann works for the both the BBC and BT Sport, but he has often expressed an interest in helping where he can and frequently bemoaned the fact that, while England's batsmen and seam bowlers have specialist coaches with them throughout series home and away, spin bowlers receive less help.
The ECB recently hired Saqlain Mushtaq to work with the Test squad's spinners, Moeen Ali and Adil Rashid, for a few days ahead of the Old Trafford Test and hopes to use him again in the near future. In the past, Daniel Vettori, the former New Zealand spinner, has been used in a similar role, while Mushtaq Ahmed worked with the England team on a consultancy basis for a couple of years.
While Saqlain is expected to work with England's Test spinners at the start of their winter tours - potentially travelling to Bangladesh if that tour goes ahead - it is thought he may struggle to gain a visa to India.
The involvement of Swann would be the latest in a raft of measures the ECB has implemented in an attempt to encourage the development of spin bowlers in England. As well as allowing opposition captains the opportunity to bowl first in the County Championship in 2016, a move designed to disincentive counties preparing pitches providing extravagant assistance to seam bowlers, it has been noticeable that young spinners have been invited to bowl at England's Test players in the nets ahead of each Test of the summer. Mason Crane, the 19-year-old Hampshire legspinner, has been in the nets at the Kia Oval this week.
The issue is likely to become more contentious in the coming months as England face seven Tests in Asia. While England's two main spinners, Swann and Monty Panesar, claimed 37 wickets between them as England defeated India in India in 2012 (nobody on either side took more than Swann's 20 wickets in the series), when they return to the country in November it will be Moeen and Rashid who are relied upon to provide the bulk of the spin bowling.
George Dobell is a senior correspondent at ESPNcricinfo