Ashley Giles gives England stars the green light to pursue T20 ambitions
- Joe Root joined vice-captain Jos Buttler in Sydney in the Big Bash this year
- They only arrived back in England on Wednesday before flying out to Caribbean
- Ashley Giles believes top players will benefit from the experience of T20 leagues
England’s top players have been given the green light to carry on cashing in on the Twenty20 leagues that have flooded an already over-crowded cricket calendar.
A rare gap in England’s schedule in December led to Test captain Joe Root signing for a spell to join his vice-captain Jos Buttler in Sydney in the Big Bash even though he had an opportunity to rest ahead of a 2019 summer that features the World Cup and Ashes.
Root and Buttler only arrived back in England on Wednesday but then flew to the Caribbean with the team on Friday for three Tests, five one-day internationals and, if Root is selected, three Twenty20 matches against West Indies that begin this tumultuous year.
Ashley Giles has given England players the green light to carry on cashing in on T20 leagues
The Test captain is determined to force his way into England’s plans for the next World Twenty20 in Australia next year even though skipping the short format could conceivably give him an opportunity for respite and avoid the dangers of burn-out.
Yet Ashley Giles, England’s new team director, backed up the argument that his top players can benefit from the experience competitions like the Big Bash and the highly lucrative Indian Premier League can provide.
‘The welfare of players is always a concern but the experience for Joe to play in a different environment is a good one to take,’ said Giles.
‘I wasn’t involved in the discussions but they would have thought long and hard about it and perhaps the chance to play without the captaincy on his shoulders was quite nice.
A rare gap in England’s schedule in December led to Test captain Joe Root playing the Big Bash
‘I’ve watched quite a lot of the Big Bash and Joe hasn’t had the success this year he would have wanted but that happens in T20 cricket and I’m sure he would have learnt a lot.
‘It’s a balance. From a performance and finance point of view there are a lot of things going on and my job is to try to ensure England teams are successful.
‘But we also want happy players enjoying their cricket and we have to accept that the modern cricketer is going to want to play in some of these competitions. From a developmental point of view they are pretty good for them as well.’
Meanwhile Giles, whose priority in his new job will be finding the coaches to replace Trevor Bayliss after the Ashes, insists he will have a good relationship at the ECB with Andy Flower despite their previous differences.
Giles, 45, was sacked as one-day coach after an ill-fated job share with Flower that failed because of ‘culture clashes’ between the two but now finds himself as his boss.
Root and Jos Buttler only arrived back in England on Wednesday before flying to the Caribbean
The former England coach is head of the Lions programme and decided against running against Giles for the big ECB job despite acting as caretaker team director last summer after narrowly missing out to Ed Smith as national selector.
‘Andy and I get on but at the same time we disagree at times because we are different,’ said Giles.
‘I’ve got no problem at all with Andy and I spent a few hours with him last week going through what this role involves and what’s been on his desk.
‘It was fantastic to do that and he’s a highly valued member of the management team. Nothing has changed there and I’m sure even though I’m now his boss we will continue to fall out at times. That’s what happens.’