Giles happy to be back in top job after axe by England

Ashley Giles, Managing Director of England Men's Cricket. (Picture: Andrew Redington/Getty Images)
Ashley Giles, Managing Director of England Men's Cricket. (Picture: Andrew Redington/Getty Images)
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The England and Wales Cricket Board’s new director of cricket Ashley Giles vowed to return to the top when he was sacked as England’s one-day coach four years ago.

Giles has replaced Andrew Strauss in the head role at the ECB, returning to the governing body after being fired in 2014.

The 45-year-old, who played 54 Tests for England, was bitterly disappointed at losing his job, where he worked separately to Test coach Andy Flower, but says that helped shape his career path.

“I said it at the time, that was a goal of mine, not through bitterness,” he said. “I don’t know if I said it to (former ECB director of cricket) Paul, I certainly said it to my wife.

“The bitterness that doesn’t drive me. That isn’t important to me. I want to do the job well, I want England to do well, I have always wanted to test myself at the highest level.

“If you look at my career progress over the last four or five years, I have sort of prepared for this role. If you are a cricket director or performance director this is the pinnacle in my area.

“That period with Andy and the unravelling of the Ashes and the debacle against the Netherlands in Bangladesh, I guess that was almost a catalyst for me going back to university, studying, taking a master’s and changing paths slightly.

“It was a good life lesson if anything, but it got me where I am today.”

One of Giles’s main priorities will be to find a replacement for current head coach Trevor Bayliss, who will leave his role at the end of the English summer.

Given his previous position at the ECB, Giles is well-placed to consider the possibility of dual coaches for the Test and limited-overs sides, or a head coach, who specialist coaches would work under.

England have not appointed separate coaches for different formats since Giles’s dismissal, but he is not ruling out going back to that.

“We’ll look at everything, I have not made call on that,” he added. “I think it can work.

“Last time, there was the cycle, the unravelling was very difficult but with the workload coming up - World Test Championship, T20 World Cups, it will be challenging,” said Giles.