Simon Katich heads field for England head coach job with interviews to take place next week

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 (Getty Images)
(Getty Images)

Applications to become England’s next head coach close today, with interviews to be arranged for Monday and Tuesday next week.

Rob Key, the new managing director, is leading the search; his second major task, having appointed Ben Stokes Test captain last week.

Key has declared his intention to separate the coaching of Test and white-ball cricket, but remains open to one candidate being in charge if the right candidate comes along.

Chris Silverwood was removed from his all-format post after the Ashes debacle earlier this year and England have only separated the coaching jobs once before, between 2012 and 2014, when Andy Flower handed the limited-overs teams to Ashley Giles. It was an uncomfortable situation in which Flower remained very much the dominant figure.

If it is to work this time, Key and a national selector, who he will begin searching for when the coaching appointments are made, would have to have strong input to ensure the two coaches worked well together.

England would become the only current international team to separate the formats, but it does make sense; their schedule is by some distance the busiest, with six different tours to five countries across the formats looming.

The jobs are being recruited for concurrently, with interviews — led by Key, but involving Andrew Strauss, Tom Harrison, and members of the ECB Board.

Another round could be required to separate candidates, but the hope is to make an appointment in the next couple of weeks.

England next play on June 2, against New Zealand at Lord’s.

Ideally, a new coach would have been appointed, even if they start later and an interim panel is in place for the First Test.

Simon Katich, the former Australia batter and coach of Manchester Originals, is, perhaps, the favourite for the Test job, but the 46-year-old may take some persuading, given he has a young family in Australia.

Gary Kirsten has made plain his desire to coach the Test team, while another who has declared his interest is Graham Ford, who has been head coach of South Africa, Sri Lanka and Ireland.

Jason Gillespie is also interested, while Australians Greg Shipperd and Tom Moody and the pick of county coaches, such as Warwickshire’s Mark Robinson, could apply.

The white-ball role could be combined with an IPL gig, which makes it attractive to big names such as Brendon McCullum, but Paul Collingwood remains the strong favourite.

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