PETER Moores’ future as England coach appears increasingly in peril. The England and Wales Cricket Board issued no comment following press reports yesterday that Moores will be removed once Andrew Strauss takes up his position as the national team’s new director of cricket in the coming days.
Moores was in Dublin for the washed-out Royal London one-day international against Ireland – a fixture which seems ever more likely to prove the last of his second tenure.
Strauss, expected to be confirmed in his role early next week, pulled out of his scheduled stint as a Sky summariser and pundit for the one-off match at Malahide CC.
The former Test captain has emerged as the clear front-runner to take up the new position which was created when Paul Downton last month moved aside from his job as the ECB’s managing director.
Sky explained Strauss’ absence from his broadcasting duties with them, when presenter Ian Ward spelled out the open secret to viewers that he is set to rejoin the ECB.
“It is highly likely that he will be the new cricket director and, if that appointment does go ahead, it will be announced next week,” Ward said on Sky Sports 2.
Should that be confirmed, as expected, and result in Moores’ departure, the latter’s second tenure will have lasted barely a year since major changes were made in the aftermath of England’s 2013/14 Ashes whitewash defeat.
In that time, he has overseen just one series victory in any format – against India in Test cricket last summer – and was unable to stop England exiting the World Cup before the knockout stages.
Possible replacements for him include Australians Jason Gillespie and Justin Langer.
The appointment of either would mark a watershed moment for English cricket, recruiting management staff native to their Ashes rivals.
Meanwhile, five England debutants had a short-lived one-day international baptism in Dublin, where only 18 overs were possible because of rain. James Taylor marked his first match as captain by winning the toss, but the rain swept in with Ireland on 56-4. A dispiriting forecast proved accurate, and there was never any chance of resumption before a 3pm abandonment.
But there was time at least for a maiden wicket each for Mark Wood and David Willey.
The hosts lost Paul Stirling first, run out by a direct hit from wicketkeeper Jonny Bairstow, as the opener failed to make it to the non-striker’s end for a leg-bye single.
Captain William Porterfield then chopped on to the pace of Wood, and Niall O’Brien edged Tim Bresnan to James Vince at first slip.
Andrew Balbirnie went to drive left-armer Willey, but was very well held at second slip by Jason Roy, also a debutant in this format.
Play had continued through half an hour of rain.
It became too heavy, though, and did not relent into the afternoon, and Malahide was deserted by the near 10,000 sell-out crowd before the inevitable confirmation that there would be no further play.