Chris Silverwood leaves as England head coach after Ashes defeat

Chris Silverwood
England won 10 of their 29 Tests with Silverwood in charge

Head coach Chris Silverwood has followed director of cricket Ashley Giles in leaving the England men’s team following the heavy Ashes defeat.

The 4-0 loss in Australia came part of a wider run that has seen England win only one of their past 14 Tests.

Silverwood, 46, was appointed in 2019 by Giles, who stood down on Wednesday.

Sir Andrew Strauss has temporarily taken over from Giles and will appoint an interim coach for the tour of West Indies in March.

A squad for the three-Test series is due to be named next week.

England and Wales Cricket Board chief executive Tom Harrison said: “During his time in the role Chris has given absolutely everything to make a success of it. He is a man of great integrity, who players and staff alike have enjoyed working with.

“In the coming days Andrew Strauss will appoint a caretaker coach for the tour of the West Indies and will then consider the appropriate coaching structures to help England move forwards.”

Silverwood, a former fast bowler who played six Tests for England, said: “It’s been an absolute honour to be England head coach and I’m extremely proud to have worked alongside our players and staff.

“I leave with fond memories and I am now looking forward to spending some quality time at home with my family and embracing the next chapter.”

Having been given the responsibility of head selector by Giles in April of last year, Silverwood was the most powerful England coach since Raymond Illingworth in the mid-1990s.

His elevation to the top coaching job in English cricket came after he led Essex to promotion from Division Two of the County Championship, then the Division One title in successive years

When he was chosen as England coach, it came after Giles had expressed his desire for a homegrown candidate, with the national side having largely relied on overseas appointments since 1999.

Silverwood’s tenure came almost exclusively in the Covid era, with the pandemic named as one reason for England’s controversial rest-and-rotation policy, which was employed throughout much of 2021.

Though he has consistently emphasised the importance of scoring big first-innings totals in Test cricket, England’s batting has regressed – and not once during the Ashes did they post a total in excess of 300.

Prior to the tour of Australia, they surrendered a seven-year unbeaten home record in a Test series with a 1-0 defeat by New Zealand and were 2-1 down to India when the final match was postponed because of a Covid outbreak in the visitors’ camp.

As favourites to add the Twenty20 world title to the 50-over World Cup they won in 2019, England were arguably unlucky to be hit by injuries and lose a crucial toss in their semi-final defeat by New Zealand in November.

However, their Ashes capitulation was pitiful. While it is fair to acknowledge the challenges of Covid – England had almost no preparation outside of net practice – their batting was woeful and key selection decisions were confusing.

After back-to-back defeats in the opening two Ashes Tests in December, Silverwood said he was still the right man for the job. external-link

The Ashes were then lost at the earliest opportunity with an innings defeat in the third Test in Melbourne, with England avoiding defeat in the fourth Test when Silverwood was in isolation.

After another batting capitulation to lose the final Test, newspaper reports of a drinking culture were followed by a video circulated on social media of captain Joe Root, pace bowler James Anderson and batting coach Graham Thorpe being confronted by the police at the end of an all-night session.

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