Since the conclusion of the ICC Men’s Cricket World Cup 2019, the majority of teams have rejigged their management structures. Seven out of the ten nations are on the lookout for a new head coach. Here’s a look at what they’ve each been up to in the last month.
Head coach Trevor Bayliss, who has been credited with much of the success that the 50-over world champions have had in the past four years, will not be renewing his contract, which runs out at the end of the ongoing Ashes series. Mickey Arthur, who was sacked from his post as Pakistan coach recently, is reportedly in the running to replace Bayliss. England are currently hosting the Ashes and are trailing 1-0, having lost the first Test, at Edgbaston, by 251 runs.
The World Cup runners-up are currently gearing up for their first assignment since the heart-break at Lord’s. Starting from 14 August, they will lock horns against Sri Lanka in a two-Test series. The BlackCaps are one of only two teams to have not had any major overhaul in management. Head coach Gary Stead has retained his position. However, former Kiwi batsman Peter Fulton is expected to take over the role of batting coach, after Craig McMillan, who held the position for over five years, relinquished it post World Cup.
India were among the favourites to win the 2019 World Cup, but, despite losing in the semi-finals to New Zealand, they have been a hugely successful side and continue to flourish under skipper Virat Kohlli. With Ravi Shastri’s contract as head coach nearing expiry, applications have been invited, although there’s a strong likelihood that Shastri will retain the prestigious position. Sunil Joshi, who was not retained as Bangladesh’s spin consultant after the World Cup, has applied for the position of bowling coach. India’s first assignment after the World Cup has been a fruitful one, as they have dominated West Indies in the limited-overs leg of their tour of the islands.
A resurgent Australia put in some mighty performances at the World Cup, although they lost in the semi-final to eventual winners, and rivals, England. Nonetheless, they are one of most stable sides in world cricket, having put behind difficult times to usher in a new era under head coach Justin Langer. They have hit an early post-World Cup high, having crushed England by 251 runs in the 2019 Ashes opener at Edgbaston, and are currently leading the five-Test series 1-0. Steve Smith’s return, and tremendous form, as one of the world’s top Test batsmen, also spell out good signs for their future.
Pakistan’s World Cup campaign blew hot and cold as the Asian side was in contention for the semi-finals late into the round-robin. Shoaib Malik, one of their most experienced players, retired after their final game in the tournament. Soon after they bowed out, chief selector Inzamam-ul-Haq stepped down from his position. Earlier this month, the Pakistan Cricket Board also ended their association with head coach Mickey Arthur, bowling coach Azhar Mahmood, batting coach Grant Flower and trainer Grant Luden. While captain Sarfaraz Ahmed has been retained in the ‘A’ category in the 2019-20 contracts list, a decision on his captaincy future is yet to be taken.
After a disappointing World Cup campaign, major changes were expected from Cricket South Africa. And they did just that, initiating a complete overhaul of their management system that began with letting go of their head coach Ottis Gibson. CSA have now adopted a football-style management structure, wherein a team manager will be responsible for selecting his own coaching staff and captains for the three formats. The medical and administrative staff will also report to the manager, who in turn will report to the director of cricket, working under the chief executive.
They recently appointed Enoch Nkwe as the interim team director, ahead of the tour of India, which begins on 15 September. While Faf du Plessis has been retained as Test captain for the India series, acting director of cricket Corrie van Zyl admitted that CSA will take a concrete decision on the leadership for the shorter formats, keeping the 2023 World Cup in mind.South Africa will also have to usher in a new era, following the retirements of stalwarts, such as JP Duminy, Imran Tahir and Hashim Amla from international cricket, and Dale Steyn from Tests.
Sri Lanka’s 2019 World Cup, while forgettable, was saved by some quality cricket in the second half of the tournament. Their campaign ended with the retirement of one of their greats, Lasith Malinga, who leaves behind a void that will be difficult to fill. They are also seeking to part ways with head coach Chandika Hatharusingha and have already named former international Rumesh Ratnayake, who will act as a temporary replacement for the New Zealand series, in an interim capacity. They swept the home ODI series 3-0 against Bangladesh and the younger players have risen up to the challenge of rebuilding the team post World Cup.
Bangladesh’s eighth-place finish on the World Cup table promoted the board to part ways with coach Steve Rhodes, who had joined the set-up in June last year, with Khaled Mahmud taking up temporary duties. They, however, retained batting coach Neil McKenzie and fielding coach Ryan Cook, and are yet to take a decision on bowling coaches Courtney Walsh and Sunil Joshi. The BCB has shortlisted Mike Hesson, Grant Flower, Hathurusingha, Paul Farbrace and Russell Domingo for the role of head coach. Hathurusingha, who was asked to resign as Sri Lanka’s coach post World Cup, has already coached Bangladesh in the past, from 2014 to 2017. With poor form plaguing their top players and a 3-0 sweep at the hands of Sri Lanka, Bangladesh are in the middle of a tough time.
Afghanistan parted ways with head coach Phil Simmons and have appointed Rashid Khan as captain in all three formats
After a resounding win against Pakistan in their World Cup opener, West Indies failed to keep their momentum going and ended up second from bottom in the points table. Their troubles with the board had come to a head just prior to the tournament, when a big revamp saw Ricky Skerritt being appointed president, while the coaching reins were handed temporarily to Floyd Reifer. They are currently hosting India for a month-long tour, and have already lost the T20Is 0-3.
The wooden spoon holders of the 2019 World Cup, Afghanistan have been dealing with several disruptions since before the tournament. Their regular captain Ashghar Afghan was sacked just days before the World Cup and three separate candidates – Gulbadin Naib (ODIs), Rashid Khan (T20Is) and Rahmat Shah (Test) were appointed. Following a poor World Cup, the already troubled board yet again overhauled the captaincy, this time handing over the reins for all three formats to Rashid Khan, with former skipper Asghar Afghan to serve as his deputy. Rashid’s first major assignment will be a one-off Test against Bangladesh in September, followed by a tri-series against Zimbabwe and Bangladesh. The ACB also parted ways with head coach Phil Simmons on a bitter note, as he was blamed for their World Cup debacle.