England need to find new bowling coach just weeks ahead of the Ashes tour of Autralia
ENGLAND have suffered a blow just weeks before the Ashes as bowling coach Ottis Gibson has quit to become head coach of South Africa.
Gibson, who has been with England in his current role since 2015, will leave after the conclusion of the Test series against West Indies next month.
The news leaves England with only a few weeks to appoint a replacement before the squad leave for Australia.
Speaking on the departure of Gibson, Director of England Cricket Andrew Strauss said: “I would like to place on record my thanks to Ottis Gibson for his services to English cricket.
“Ottis has been an integral part of the England team in his two stints as bowling coach.
“His experience, tactical awareness and understanding of bowling in all conditions has benefited our approach and has helped our bowling unit develop greatly across all formats of the game.
“He is an ambitious man and when this opportunity presented itself it was difficult for him to turn down. On behalf of the ECB, I would like to wish him every success in the next chapter of his career.”
England Coach Trevor Bayliss added: “Ottis has played a vital role in our progress over the past few years.
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Who’s next for England? Top candidates to be bowling coach
Ex-Aussie bowler, 42, who played 71 Tests in the baggy green cap. He led Yorkshire to the County Championship in 2014 and 2015. Currently interim coach of Papua New Guinea.
Former Middlesex pace bowler, 42, who played three Tests and 10 ODIs for England. Currently bowling coach of Middlesex, having retired in 2007.
Ex-Yorkshire swing bowler who played six Tests and seven ODIs for England. Also aged 42, Silverwood is currently head coach at Essex, who top Division One.
England’s record wicket taker, who is still a key member of the attack. Aged 35, he could be asked to perform the job part-time during the Ashes tour.
“His knowledge of the international game and the way he has supported all our bowlers in their development has been immeasurable.
“He will no doubt relish the challenge of becoming a head coach once again and coupled with his strong affinity with South African cricket, he will look to take them forward.”
The ECB will shortly launch a process to identify and recruit a new fast bowling coach ahead of a busy winter schedule.
Gibson was previously head coach of the West Indies before rejoining the England set up in 2015. He won the World Twenty20 title with the Windies but found the job of revitalising cricket in the Caribbean overwhelming.
He is popular and respected among the England set up and Stuart Broad in particular has a close working relationship with Gibson, praising his help in bowling to left-handers.
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