England could face upheaval ahead of the World Cup with news that Paul Farbrace is a candidate for another coaching job. Farbrace, England’s assistant coach and a key figure in their limited-overs revival, is understood to have had talks with Hampshire in connection with the role recently vacated by Craig White.
While Farbrace is far from certain to be offered, or to accept, the role, the fact that he is considering other opportunities at this stage underlines the uncertainty around the England camp.
With Trevor Bayliss, England’s head coach, stepping down from his role at the end of the 2019 English season, the rest of the backroom staff are facing an uncertain future. No decision about a successor has yet been made and, with the ECB currently searching for a replacement for Andrew Strauss – England’s managing director and the man who would appoint Bayliss’ successor – no guarantees can be made to anyone.
It is not unusual for Farbrace to be connected to other coaching jobs. He has an excellent reputation, having led Sri Lanka to the World T20 title during a brief spell in charge in 2014, and has been approached by several of the English counties and at least one national team, in Bangladesh.
But while he has become accustomed to turning such roles down, he will also be aware he has no job security beyond September. He has intimated in the past that he would be interested in taking over as England head coach but, with the role expected to be split into two (a Test coach and a limited-overs coach) and a possibility that some candidates have been sounded out for their availability already, he may conclude that he is better to take opportunities while he has them.
Still, having been such a big part of England’s white-ball recovery, it would surely smart to leave just a few months before the World Cup campaign that has been their focus for the last few years. It would also not be ideal for a dressing room that has prided itself on its stability and positivity in recent times.
Applications for the England managing director job close on November 16, with Ashley Giles and Wasim Khan expected to be among the frontrunners. Mike Atherton, the former England captain and current cricket correspondent at the Times, is also understood to be considering applying having been encouraged to do so by top officials at the ECB.