England cricket coach Chris Silverwood will “pass on the reins” to assistants Graham Thorpe and Paul Collingwood during the upcoming one-day series at home to Sri Lanka and Pakistan as he bids to get “refreshed” amid a congested fixture schedule.
England have a busy home campaign, which also includes T20s against Sri Lanka and Pakistan, as well as seven Tests — two against New Zealand and five against India — ahead of this year’s T20 World Cup in India and the 2021/22 Ashes tour of Australia.
Silverwood, having been ever present during three months away with the squad on tours of Sri Lanka and India at the start of the year, believes the rest and rotation policy England are adopting with their players also applies to the coaching staff, with ‘bubble’ cricket continuing to taking place in the shadow of the coronavirus pandemic.
“Thorpey will do one and Colly will do the other and I’ll use it as my break in between to refresh and get ready for what is ahead of us.”
Silverwood, now in charge of picking the team after England abolished Ed Smith’s position of national selector, said he had to take a break to ensure he was at his best.
“You saw that during the winter that we tried to do that with our players to the best of our ability. It’s equally as important we do that with the staff.”
Silverwood said he planned to leave his deputies and captain Eoin Morgan in charge of selection for the Sri Lanka and Pakistan ODIS.
“If I am giving them responsibility, I have to learn to back off,” said Silverwood.
“As players, they played a lot more international cricket than me, so you surround yourself with the things that maybe you don’t have and build a team that way,” explained Silverwood, who played just six Tests for England compared to the 168 shared by Thorpe and Collingwood between them.
But he admitted stepping back from the fray would be difficult.
“I do find it hard to switch off but I’ll do my best…I will definitely have a week…My missus has already booked us a little getaway up in Norfolk (eastern England) somewhere.”
Meanwhile, England’s Indian Premier League players are unlikely to be rushed back from quarantine for next month’s Tests against New Zealand.
Jos Buttler, Jonny Bairstow, Chris Woakes, Sam Curran and Moeen Ali would all normally come into consideration.
Following the IPL’s recent suspension in the face of the worsening Covid-19 crisis in India, the players’ mandatory 10-day isolation period expires at the weekend.
But that leaves them with just over a fortnight until the first Test against New Zealand at Lord’s.
Ben Stokes injured and fast bowler Jofra Archer starting to make his comeback, Ollie Robinson and Craig Overton could be in contention after impressing in the early rounds of the County Championship.