An appetite to appoint a home-grown candidate combined with a lofty global standing in limited-overs cricket should result in England plumping for Paul Collingwood as their new white-ball coach ahead of an Australian this week.
Collingwood has faced competition from Australian women’s coach Matthew Mott plus another Aussie in Simon Katich, as England managing director Rob Key finalises the split coaching set-up ahead of the international summer.
The 45-year-old was in charge of both Twenty20 and Test tours of the Caribbean earlier this year and making the position permanent, four years after first joining the set-up as a coach, would provide continuity.
Paul Collingwood looks set to be named England’s next white-ball coach
In contrast to the Test team’s sequence of one win in 17 matches that triggered a daring and radical move for Brendon McCullum as head coach, the white-ball teams have continued to be successful and sit second in both one-day and T20 rankings despite blooding fresh talent over the past year.
Key, who has been heading the interview process along with strategic consultant Andrew Strauss and ECB chief executive Tom Harrison in London this week, made clear at his own unveiling last month that English coaches had to see a pathway from the county system to the top.
Collingwood’s upgrade would provide that, although Mott — who reached the 2013 final of the Yorkshire Bank40 during three seasons as Glamorgan head coach before overseeing a record 26 consecutive ODI wins for the Australian women — has strong credentials.
Rob Key is set to announce his decision on England’s next white-ball coach in the coming days
Simon Katich is another candidate for the role, but he is considered an outsider
Katich is considered an outsider, after also applying to replace Chris Silverwood in a Test capacity, while two others who have been interviewed this week in Mark Alleyne and Richard Dawson could be offered assistant roles following respective white-ball successes in charge of Gloucestershire this century.
Once Key has finalised his coaching personnel — McCullum’s staff may also be added to — he will switch his attention to devising a new selection system.
The Mail On Sunday understands Steve Harmison will be considered, as will Matt Prior, as the national side looks for new eyes to distinguish the country’s top talent from the field.
Following the sacking of Ed Smith as national selector by Key’s predecessor Ashley Giles last summer, James Taylor is the most senior selection voice from outside the dressing room in his role as chief scout.
Key is likely to tinker with rather than overhaul the process, although how that will affect the future of Taylor and the ECB’s other 10 scouts remains unclear.