Trevor Bayliss, England’s head coach, has urged the England and Wales Cricket Board to consider hiring a specialist coach for their Twenty20 side and believes his assistant, Paul Farbrace, is the man for the role.
Bayliss, who confirmed last month that he will not stay on beyond the end of his deal in summer 2019, feels that the sooner the position is created, with a World T20 tournament on the horizon in 2020, the better.
On Sunday, England was knocked out of the Trans-Tasman Tri-Series. While unpicking how his side was found wanting in their first three games of the series after sealing a 4-1 ODI series win against Australia, Bayliss reiterated his belief that specialist coaches are in the offing for international cricket players. He lent his support to Farbrace as someone who could take charge in the shortest format.
“The short answer is probably ‘yes’,” Bayliss said when asked if a T20 specific coach should be in place before his scheduled departure. “Obviously, Paul Farbrace, I think, would do a grand job. If that’s a possibility down the line, so be it. We work pretty closely together anyway.”
“When I was a number two, years ago, a bloke said to me the role of the number two is to make the number one look good. I think he’s done a good job in that respect.”
Farbrace, who was not on the T20 leg of the tour but is back to work for the ODI series against New Zealand starting on Sunday, has rejected a number of county jobs since joining the national coaching staff in 2014 from Sri Lanka. He is seen as the favourite to take over from Bayliss in late 2019 after a summer that includes a home World Cup than an Ashes series.
Bayliss would need to officially step down as a T20 coach, something he is willing to do in part due to the demands of the job across three formats. “From the start of May last year, I think we have 21 months of cricket out of 23 – and we’re halfway through that,” he said.
“It’s tough and that’s what we’re paid for and we love doing it. But it doesn’t make it any easier.” Nor has been in his home country: between arriving in Australia on 28 October and departing for New Zealand on 11 February, Bayliss has spent just two nights at his home in New South Wales.
Ultimately, handing over the T20 reins to someone else will be decided by the ECB, and Bayliss is happy to maintain the status quo until his contract is up.
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“That will obviously be a discussion with higher levels, with Andrew Strauss [the director of England cricket] and people like that,” he said. “If that was what they thought was the way to go ahead, I’d be all for it. If not, I am more than happy to keep going and work with these guys towards that next T20 World Cup.”
Despite having some of the best big-hitters in their armoury, England failed to qualify for the final of the Trans-Tasman T20I series involving New Zealand and Australia, who both will play the final tomorrow at the Eden Park.