GEORGE DOBELL – EXCLUSIVE: Although Gibson, the former West Indies and South Africa coach, was approached by Andrew Strauss with a view to discussing the opportunities, The Cricketer understands he replied to say he would not be applying
Ottis Gibson is understood to have ruled himself out of the reckoning for one of the coaching roles with the England team.
Although Gibson, the former West Indies and South Africa coach, was approached by Andrew Strauss with a view to discussing the opportunities, The Cricketer understands he replied to say he would not be applying.
The attraction of Gibson to the ECB is obvious. As well as the head coach roles he has held, he has also enjoyed a couple of spells as England’s bowling coach, as well as spending successful years as a player with Durham and Leicestershire. As a result, he knows the English game well and has strong relationships up and down the land.
News of the approach to Gibson came as something of a shock to the management at Yorkshire, though. The club has been through considerable upheaval in recent times and the recruitment of Gibson as head coach involved significant investment both in times of time and money. The realization that the ECB may have attempted to lure him away within weeks of starting has left some at the club unimpressed.
Andrew Strauss is understood to have encouraged Ottis Gibson to discuss the England head coach role
There might also be some eyebrows raised at Strauss involving himself in the decision before the appointment of Rob Key as managing director of England men’s cricket. Strauss has only been in the role in an interim basis and might have been expected to leave such an important role to Key, with whom the new coach (or coaches) will have to work closely.
The episode also highlights one of the drawbacks of the ECB’s new recruitment policy.
While the policy – which requires a full recruitment process for each position – is designed with the best of intentions (to foster diversity, minimize bias and end the ‘jobs for the boys’ culture), it has quickly become apparent that some of the best Candidates are reluctant to enter into such a process.
Alec Stewart, for example, has previously stated that, if the ECB want him, they should make him an offer but clarified that he would not enter a “beauty contest” for such a role.
This is a particularly sensitive area for those who are already in jobs and wouldn’t want their present employer to find out they had expressed an interest in another role. It is understood this may have been a significant factor in Gibson’s decision.
Gibson and Yorkshire director of cricket Darren Gough
With Key having previously expressed his preference for splitting the coaching commitments between the Test and limited-overs teams, it remains probable, though not certain, that England will end up appointing two new head coaches.
One or two potential candidates are understood to have expressed the desire to coach in all formats, however. Gibson is one of those who is believed to have expressed such a view.
Graham Ford, Tom Moody and Gary Kirsten would appear to be among the most realistic options, though it likely conversations will take place with several more options.
It may be relevant that, the last time the position became available, the ECB sent messages to a plethora of high-profile candidates – believed to include Ricky Ponting and Stephen Fleming – and, in several cases, did not even receive a reply.
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