England appoint Silverwood: Profiling the new head coach - and key issues for the future

By Sports Desk October 07, 2019

First Alec Stewart was seen as the leading candidate. Then Gary Kirsten became the front-runner for the job. In the end, though, Chris Silverwood came up on the rails to become England's new head coach.

The 44-year-old nicknamed 'Spoons' may not be a top-drawer name in comparison to others linked with the high-profile vacancy, but he has undoubtedly earned his opportunity.

Promoted from his role as bowling coach under previous coach Trevor Bayliss, Silverwood made clear his focus in the statement confirming his appointment: "I aim to continue the great work that has been done over the past five years and build on our future, especially in the Test arena."

So, who is the man now in charge of the England team? We take a look at his career path to the job, as well as highlighting some of the key issues he faces at the start of his reign.

 

Playing days and coaching success

Born in Pontefract, Yorkshireman Silverwood spent the majority of his playing career at his home county before finishing up at Middlesex. A lively pace bowler, he played six Tests and seven one-day games for England but never truly established himself at international level.

His reputation as a coach was forged at domestic level with Essex, first working with the county's bowlers before taking over in charge of the first team in 2016.

He immediately led them to promotion from Division Two and then, the following year, they were crowned county champions for the first time in 25 years.

Their success was spearheaded by a Kolpak recruit in Simon Harmer, yet the team also contained plenty of homegrown talent.  He helped seamer Jamie Porter rise to become one of the most consistent wicket-takers in first-class cricket, while batsman Tom Westley also earned international recognition during his watch.

Crucially for Essex, the foundations were laid for future success. This year, under the guidance of Silverwood's former assistant Anthony McGrath, a familiar-looking squad has won both the Vitality Blast and the County Championship again. 

"In his time with Essex, his outstanding leadership and interpersonal skills were a major factor in taking our cricket to the next level," John Faragher, Essex chairman, told the county's official website.

 

Moving on up

Silverwood's work with Essex unsurprisingly led to a job with England, as he was appointed bowling coach in 2017.

Working as part of Bayliss' staff, he was involved in the successful Cricket World Cup campaign on home soil earlier this year, with the tournament hosts aided by the emergence of Jofra Archer.

However, Silverwood has remained very much in the background, rarely talking to the media. Still, his work – and his words – were enough to convince the powers that be when it came to the main job.

"Chris demonstrated in his interview a clear understanding and strategy of how both the red and white ball teams need to evolve. He has some detailed thoughts on what it will take to win the Ashes in Australia and win major ICC white-ball tournaments," Ashley Giles, managing director of the England team, said in a statement.

"Over the past couple of years, he has been an integral member of developing the teams’ culture and emerging a cohesive relationship across the team's management group."

Giles' quotes contained two key words - "Ashes" and "culture".

England have undoubtedly prioritised white-ball cricket in recent years – and with great success, too – but a failure to beat Australia on home soil in Bayliss' final Test series in charge has shifted the longer format back into focus.

When it comes to culture, England's hierarchy have gone with a homegrown option. Australian Bayliss admitted he did not pay too much attention to county cricket – that will not be the case with Silverwood, who has a wealth of experience as both a player and a coach.

Yet Silverwood has also seen what exactly is required to prosper in the international game. To that extent, he also has an advantage in knowing how both Joe Root - who will work alongside his fellow Yorkshireman with the Test team - and white-ball specialist Eoin Morgan tick, having been part of the inner sanctum for a couple of years.

 

Planning for the future

A busy schedule, that’s what. International cricket is a non-stop treadmill, though the grind of games all-year round is nothing new to Silverwood.

While there is a Twenty20 World Cup coming up next year, England are a well-oiled machine in white-ball cricket. There may be players who emerge in the coming months to force their way in - just as Archer did once he was available - but the bulk of the group is already known, and Morgan is an experienced leader with clear plans on how his team should play.

So, as Silverwood said himself, Test cricket is to be the main focus.  In the near future, there are tours to New Zealand and South Africa coming up, but the long-term aim is winning the Ashes Down Under in 2021-22.

Archer has added some much-needed pace to go alongside England's leading two wicket-takers in James Anderson (fitness permitting) and Stuart Broad. On their last visit to Australia, the attack was distinctly lacking in terms of speed, such a crucial factor in conditions where swing is less of a factor.

The batting, though, requires serious work - less of a cosmetic job and more a case of knocking it down and starting again.

Silverwood needs to begin the rebuild at the top, with England desperately needing to establish a regular top three. Root looks set to return to four, while the talk from national selector Ed Smith after Jonny Bairstow was dropped for the New Zealand series suggests he should concentrate just on batting, rather than continuing behind the stumps.

Ben Stokes is a certainty in the middle order, but Silverwood has to be careful with overburdening the all-rounder.

As with others who play all formats, workload management will be key for Stokes. Being England coach is often about spinning plates, but the complexities of the job are nothing new for Silverwood, the quiet man who now gets the chance to set the tone after stepping out from the background.

Related items

  • Jamaican coaches benefit from Level 2 course under Coaching Education Programme Jamaican coaches benefit from Level 2 course under Coaching Education Programme

    Twenty local coaches are benefitting from a Cricket West Indies (CWI) Level 2 Coaching Course delivered with the assistance of tutors from University of the West Indies and the governing body’s recently appointed Coaching Education Manager – Chris Brabazon.

     The course that began on December 12 and concludes on December 16, is being delivered at Sabina Park and also incorporated the services of two CWI Cricket Specialists, Jamaicans Phillip Service and David Bernard Jr. Prior execution in Jamaica it was delivered in Barbados, Guyana and the Windward Islands.

     “This course is part of the CWI’s ‘cricket-first’ strategy which is aimed at improving the human capital in the which supports talent development at all levels. This coaching education focus is done for the foundation through to Level 3. We are building capacity in different areas so that we can develop quality players and winning teams,” said CWI Director and Jamaica Cricket Association President Wilford “Billy” Heaven.

     “The Cricket Education Manager will add to the process a focus on the methodology used by the coaches. The pedagogy of any subject is quite important. All our players don’t learn the same way and that is being taken into consideration.”

     Meanwhile, the CWI Cricket Education Manager Chris Barbazon believes that coaching in the region is trending in the right direction but the region is behind in this regard.

     “Other countries are more advanced in terms of their accreditation systems already being in place. Once the system is in place then more workshops and seminars can be done to build more on what is learned during a course. It allows for greater focus to be placed on getting coaches to the top levels over shorter periods than currently exist,” he said.

     “I’m enthused by the positive attitude of the coaches. The next step is to take a look at all the Level 2 coaches across the region and organize a Level 3 course over the next 8-12 months. Thereafter we will seek to strengthen the various cohorts and better the franchise coaches and so on.”.

     UWI Tutor Ryerson Bahgoo noted that Level 2 focuses on identifying a player’s strengths and weakness and with the intention to reinforce and strengthen. The Level 2 course uses a more cooperative approach to coaching through observation and implicit learning using cricket drills. Coaches who have successfully completed the level 2 certification may coach in senior clubs and secondary schools that play competitive cricket.

     

  • Liverpool extend streak while Chelsea and Leicester stall – the Premier League Data Diary Liverpool extend streak while Chelsea and Leicester stall – the Premier League Data Diary

    Points were dropped by several Premier League sides with top-six aspirations on a weekend when leaders Liverpool were rescued by Mohamed Salah's finishing as they extended their winning streak and their cushion at the top.

    The Reds beat Watford 2-0 at Anfield to move 10 points clear of Leicester City, who were held to a 1-1 draw at home by struggling Norwich City.

    There was also frustration for a top-four side at Stamford Bridge, where Chelsea failed to score for the second time in three Premier League home games as they succumbed 1-0 to Bournemouth.

    Manchester City suffered no such slip-up when they travelled to Arsenal on Sunday, as a 3-0 win for the third-placed defending champions moved them to 14 points behind Liverpool.

    Tottenham nudged up to fifth after beating Wolves 2-1 to offer further evidence that Jose Mourinho has addressed some of the problems his side faced on the road under Mauricio Pochettino.

    Take a deep dive into the big stories of the weekend in our Premier League Data Diary.

    REDS STREAK RANKS THIRD AFTER TRICKY HORNETS TEST

    Goals from Mohamed Salah and some wayward Watford finishing ensured Liverpool claimed a 2-0 win at Anfield to extend their unbeaten Premier League run to 34 games.

    Only Arsenal (49 between May 2003 and October 2004) and Chelsea (40 between October 2004 and October 2005) can boast longer undefeated sequences in the competition, and the Reds have won their last 16 league games at Anfield.

    Five more consecutive home wins would see Jurgen Klopp's men match the record (21) set by Bill Shankly's title-winning Liverpool side between January and December 1972.

    Salah's double takes his goal tally to 84 in 126 appearances for Liverpool, eclipsing Luis Suarez's record of 82 goals in 133 games for the Reds.

    Watford have taken just nine points from 17 league games this season, and the omens for them are not good: all of the nine teams to accumulate nine points or fewer after 17 Premier League matches have been eventually relegated.

     

    HONEYMOON PERIOD A DISTANT MEMORY FOR LAMPARD

    After seeing Chelsea lose just two of his first 12 Premier League games in charge, Frank Lampard watched his charges slip to a fourth defeat in five against Bournemouth on Saturday.

    The 1-0 reverse at Stamford Bridge came courtesy of Dan Gosling's first league goal since April and left the Blues with just one fewer home defeat (five) in all competitions this season than they suffered in 62 games over 2017-18 and 2018-19 combined.

    Chelsea have lost two of their last three top-flight home games, as many as they had in their previous 28 at Stamford Bridge, and failed to score in both of those defeats.

    Since their promotion in 2015, no side has won more Premier League away game at Chelsea than Bournemouth (three, level with Liverpool).

     

    MOURINHO'S MEN MAKE PROGRESS ON THE ROAD

    Prior to Jose Mourinho's arrival as Tottenham boss, Spurs had failed to win a Premier League away game this season. But since he took charge they have won two out of three in the league on the road.

    Lucas Moura's spectacular solo goal gave them the lead at Molineux and the Brazilian has now scored three goals in five top-flight appearances under Mourinho.

    Wolves pulled level after 67 minutes of a scintillating game, Adama Traore scoring his fourth goal in 26 appearances in all competitions this season - twice as many goals as he scored in his previous 82 matches.

    But Jan Vertonghen restored Tottenham's lead in second-half stoppage-time, inflicting a third home league defeat for Wolves in 2019 while extending Mourinho's record of not losing Premier League games when his side score first to 54 games since October 2015.

     

    CHAMPIONS CRUISE AGAINST SHOT-SHY GUNNERS

    Arsenal shipped three goals in 40 first-half minutes as they lost 3-0 at home to Manchester City, which left the Gunners with one win from their last nine Premier League matches.

    Freddie Ljungberg's men are without a win at home in six games across all competitions - the club's longest such run since an eight-game streak between December 1994 and February 1995.

    Kevin De Bruyne produced a masterclass at the Emirates, scoring either side of Raheem Sterling's tap-in, which he set up, to take his goal involvement tally to 19 in the league this season (seven goals and 12 assists).

    Sterling's effort was his seventh away goal in the league this season - his joint-highest return on the road in a single campaign (also seven in 2017-18).

    While City were prolific, Arsenal mustered just one shot on target all game - their joint-fewest in a Premier League game at Emirates Stadium (one v Everton in 2010, and v Chelsea in 2015 and 2016).

  • Hetmeyer says match-winning hundred meant a lot Hetmeyer says match-winning hundred meant a lot

    Guyanese power hitter Shimron Hetmeyer said his match-winning ton against cricket powerhouse India on Sunday had special meaning.

© 2018 SportsMaxTV All Rights Reserved.