England head coach Chris Silverwood gets wider role under new set-up

National selector Ed Smith will leave the England and Wales Cricket Board at the end of the month, with the position being abolished in favour of an expanded role for head coach Chris Silverwood.

Expanded role: England head coach Chris Silverwood, left, the former Yorkshire bowler and Test captain Joe Root. Picture: Mike Hewitt/NMC Pool/PA Wire.

The news of Smith’s departure comes exactly three years to the day since he was appointed and marks a significant consolidation of Silverwood’s responsibilities ahead of a year that culminates with a T20 World Cup and Ashes series.

Cricket has often appeared as something of an outlier in its deference to selectors who operate independently from those in charge of the team but England briefly flirted with combining the roles in the mid-1990s under Ray Illingworth.

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The move to award former Yorkshire bowler Silverwood similarly enhanced powers comes at the behest of director of men’s cricket Ashley Giles, who has overhauled much of the ECB’s off-field structures in the past couple of years.

A statement read: “As part of the ECB restructure, the role of national selector, currently held by Ed Smith, who was appointed in spring 2018, will no longer exist, and Smith will leave the ECB at the end of the month.

“This new structure, developed by Managing Director, England Men’s Cricket, Ashley Giles, will give clear accountability to the England Men’s Head Coach, Chris Silverwood, who will have overall responsibility for future squad selections from this point.”

James Taylor, who had previously operated as Smith’s deputy, has been retained in the altered capacity of head scout, with performance director Mo Bobat, captains Joe Root and Eoin Morgan and the coaching staff all offering input. In removing Smith, the ECB have effectively thinned out one additional layer of management from the process.

Marking his exit, Smith said: “It has been a huge privilege to work with great people trying to help England cricket and I am excited about watching England’s continued development.

“At such a high point for England cricket, I wish Ashley Giles, the coaches and all support staff good fortune over the coming months. In particular, I’d like to wish Chris Silverwood every success going forward.”

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