PETER MOORES has been sacked as England coach in a reordering of command at the England and Wales Cricket Board which has also seen Andrew Strauss confirmed as the new director of cricket.
The news will only heighten speculation that Yorkshire first-team coach Jason Gillespie will be the man appointed to succeed Moores at the start of an Ashes summer.
Gillespie - who helped deliver the County Championship title for Yorkshire last year – is the firm favourite, as reported in The Yorkshire Post HERE this morning.
Moores’s sacking and the appointment of Strauss were widely anticipated, and confirmed in successive ECB statements on Saturday - the first concerning Strauss and second Moores.
The latter has therefore lost the same position twice, having previously held it between 2007 and 2009 and this time for barely a year since his reappointment in the aftermath of England’s 2013/14 Ashes whitewash.
The second of the statements read: “The ECB confirms that Peter Moores has left his role as England head coach today.”
England assistant coach Paul Farbrace – a former second XI coach at Yorkshire – will take charge of the team for the impending Investec Test series at home to New Zealand, with the second of those games being at Headingley.
Moores, whose teams in all formats have lost 23 of their 42 fixtures in his second tenure, has spoken of his disappointment at once again losing his job - and “frustration” at “not being given that time” to see his plans come to fruition with a developing group of players.
He said: “At the moment it’s difficult to put into words how I feel, except to say how disappointed I am in the way my term as England coach has ended.
“I will walk away knowing I’ve given my all to the role and always put the team at the front of any decision-making.”
Moores departs following “private conversations”, as described in the ECB statement, with chief executive Tom Harrison and Strauss.
Harrison, who also led the recruitment process which has concluded in the appointment of Strauss, paid tribute to Moores’s efforts.
“Peter is a man of great integrity and has offered a huge amount to England cricket,” he said.
“He is admired by the players, his colleagues at the ECB and right across the game and deserves both our deep thanks and the widest recognition for his commitment and contribution.
“The last year has been a period of transition and rebuilding in which Peter has nurtured new talent, developed new players and laid the foundations for the new coaching structure to build on.
“This decision has been made as we focus on the future and our need to build the right approach and deliver success over the next five years within a new performance structure.”
Moores therefore leaves his post at the start of an Ashes summer, as England prepare for the rematch with the team who trounced them Down Under two winters ago.
The 52-year-old added: “I believe time will show that I have been instrumental in the identification and development of a new group of England players who will go on and bring honour and success to the England badge.
“I am a passionate Englishman who believes in hard work and an investment in the right people will bring its rewards.
“My record in developing players stands for itself - and though we have had some frustrations along the way, I am confident that this team will go on and bring the success the supporters desperately want to see.
“I knew when I took on the role that this was going to be a tough period for English cricket and I would need time and support to get new players through.
“My frustration is not being given that time.
“To the players, I want to say thanks for your support and commitment and I will be gutted not to work with every single one of you going forward.
“I wish you all the very best for the future.”
That future will now be under the eyes of Strauss and, in the short term at least, Farbrace - although England are thought likely to recruit a new head coach as soon as possible, prompting the possibility of Gillespie going head-to-head with his great friend Darren Lehmann should the Yorkshire coach be the man chosen by the ECB.
Strauss’s brief will be to oversee the performance and development of the senior men’s team, and England’s head coach will report directly to him.
The dual Ashes-winning captain takes charge after a “month-long formal recruitment process”, and will report to Harrison.
The ECB chief executive said: “Andrew’s breadth of ideas, his passion for England cricket and his proven leadership skills shone out.
“He was an exceptional England captain, is an authoritative voice on the modern game and has a wealth of experience building successful teams.
“Andrew’s also widely respected across the sporting landscape. We’re delighted he’s joining us at the ECB as we set out to create a new strategy for the game.”