Michael Vaughan has described the England and Wales Cricket Board’s treatment of Peter Moores as “disgraceful” after he was sacked as England coach at the weekend.
Moores, who also coached England between 2007 and 2009, had been under pressure ever since England’s calamitous World Cup campaign earlier this year and the drawn Test series with the West Indies earlier this month convinced ECB bosses that a personnel change was needed to resurrect the national side’s ailing fortunes.
Reports that Moores was on the verge of being sacked emerged on Friday during England’s washed-out one-day international against Ireland in Dublin and his departure was confirmed on Saturday afternoon, shortly after another former England captain, Andrew Strauss, was appointed as the national team’s new director of cricket.
The nature of Moores’s exit has been criticised by several figures within the game and Vaughan, who revealed he had held talks about the director of cricket job as recently as last month, offered a withering assessment of the ECB’s handling of the affair in his national newspaper column.
“I am not the biggest fan of Peter Moores as a coach, but I like him as a person and the only word I can use for the way his sacking was handled is disgraceful,” wrote Vaughan, who captained England to Ashes glory in 2005.
“It is not the first time this has happened. News broke of Alastair Cook’s sacking as one-day captain before he knew about it and now the same has happened with Peter.
“It is a poor way to treat two men who have given everything to English cricket. I realise they are not universally popular, but they deserved to be treated better by their employers.
“On the field we know England have to improve but at least we can judge that progress with our own eyes. Off the field the work done is unseen by the England & Wales Cricket Board and they really can’t get any poorer in terms of how they treat people.”
Speculation that Moores was on the brink intensified on Friday shortly after his agent, Luke Sutton, made his thoughts abundantly, if only temporarily, clear on Twitter.
Sutton subsequently deleted a series of posts sent in reaction to articles in the press that Moores was about to be sacked and he took to Twitter once again on Saturday to give his backing to his client, while former England players also offered their sympathy.
“Been a tough 24 hours for Peter but he’s a top man, and will dust himself down and be back soon,” wrote Sutton, who also represents England fast bowler James Anderson and batsman James Taylor.
Matthew Hoggard wrote: “You have to admire the way Peter Moores has handled himself both times his England job has ended. Dignity and pride spring to mind.”
Alex Tudor added: “Just heard the news about Peter Moores, really feel for him. Top coach, top bloke.”
The search for Moores’s successor now begins in earnest and former Australia fast bowler Jason Gillespie, who guided Yorkshire to their first county championship title in 13 years last summer, appears to be a popular choice.
Former England captain Nasser Hussain thinks the 40-year-old, who took 259 wickets in 71 Tests, should be given the nod because of his achievements with the White Rose county.
“I really like Jason Gillespie, I have to say. Every time I’ve played against him or when I’ve met him or when I’ve seen Yorkshire play ... what Yorkshire have done as a club, their academy structure, it’s absolutely phneomenal,” said Hussain.
“You just have to look at the England set-up to see how many good Yorkshire players are coming through, and I think Jason takes a lot of credit for that – and the way he’s handled himself.”
England will want to appoint a new coach before this summer’s Ashes series gets under way in Cardiff on July 8.
The ECB have confirmed that current assistant coach Paul Farbrace will take charge of the team for the two-Test series.
Farbrace was Second XI coach for Yorkshire between 2012-13 before taking charge of Sri Lanka.