England’s new Australian coach Trevor Bayliss is still getting his head round the prospect of taking on his native country again – but admits it was a chance he could not refuse.
Bayliss, set to arrive in England next month in time for the start of the Ashes in July, will renew a successful partnership with assistant coach and current caretaker Paul Farbrace after their time together in charge of Sri Lanka.
England and Wales Cricket Board director Andrew Strauss praised the 52-year-old’s “outstanding record as a coach” and described Bayliss’s “expertise in the shorter forms of the game” as “vital” – with a Champions Trophy and then World Cup set to be played in this country in the next four years.
It was in the course of his discussions with Strauss, before Bayliss’s appointment was confirmed by the ECB yesterday, that he realised this was a chance he simply had to take.
His allegiance to his current role as New South Wales coach meant it was no easy decision but, ultimately, an inevitable one to accept the position which became available after England sacked Peter Moores this month.
Yorkshire’s Jason Gillespie quickly emerged as the front-runner for the position and seemed set to leave Headingley, only for Bayliss to be appointed.
“It definitely wasn’t an easy decision ... (but) talking to Andrew Strauss, it got to a point where it was something I couldn’t refuse,” saidBayliss yesterday. “It’s obviously one of the big jobs in the cricket world. To be asked to go on the short-list was good enough – to be successful and get it is an unbelievable feeling, a huge opportunity and one I’m looking forward to. It’s a bit hard to comprehend, to be honest.”
Former Yorkshire Second XI coach Farbrace, who oversaw England’s first-Test victory over New Zealand at Lord’s on Monday, will stay in charge for this week’s second and final match of that series at Headingley and the following limited-overs fixtures before becoming Bayliss’s assistant.