Back or sack Moores now, says Ashes hero Hoggard

 
Ross McLean
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Moores’s tenure has come under scrutiny following England’s Test defeat in Barbados
ENGLAND must learn from recent mistakes and either sack under-pressure head coach Peter Moores now or commit to keeping him until the end of the Ashes, according to former seamer Matthew Hoggard.

Moores’s tenure is under the spotlight after England’s group-stage exit at the World Cup in March and a drawn Test series against the West Indies, opposition described by incoming England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) chairman Colin Graves as “mediocre”

Graves starts his new role next week and promised an inquiry if England failed to record a series win in the Caribbean, against a side five places below them in the Test standings and with minimal success against higher ranked teams in the last 10 years.

Hoggard cited the protracted removal of Alastair Cook as skipper of the one-day squad in December as an example of mismanagement and believes any decision on Moores needs to be made ahead of the two-Test series against New Zealand, which starts on 21 May at Lord’s.

“If there is going to be upheaval and change it needs to be done now, but that depends on how ruthless Colin Graves wants to be in the first week of his tenure,” Hoggard, who claimed 248 wickets in 67 Tests for England, told City A.M.

“The way England performed at the World Cup and the way they performed in the West Indies means Peter Moores’s job is under scrutiny.

“England if’d and but’d and ummed and aahed over Alastair Cook being the captain for the World Cup and then he was sacked just before it, which was the wrong time.

“Peter Moores is either going to be out of a job before the New Zealand series starts or he will be in a job until the end of the Ashes series against Australia, I would have thought.”

Graves was elected unopposed to the position of ECB chairman in February after a productive spell heading the board at reigning county champions Yorkshire, the side Hoggard represented for 13 years before ending his career with a stint at Leicestershire.

The 38-year-old is buoyed by the impact which Graves could have on English cricket during his five-year term in the ECB hotseat and is keen to see whether the success he enjoyed at Headingley can be replicated at national level.

“Have we got an exciting time around English cricket where we can safely say that we’re moving in the right direction? Maybe not. So things have to change,” added Hoggard, who is participating in the Great Swim Series on behalf of development charity Cricket Without Boundaries.

“It will be exciting times with Colin Graves and it will be interesting to see the fall out from his inquiry.

“He is very much a straight-talker. He has ideas, some of them very good, some of them questionable. But he is the sort of person who doesn’t just say things, he makes things happen. You can’t make an omelette without breaking eggs and I’m sure he’s not scared of breaking an egg or two.”

Following their tussle with New Zealand there is the small matter of Australia, with England still reeling from their Ashes surrender Down Under in the winter of 2013/14, and Hoggard is unconvinced by the prospect of regaining the urn.

“I’m not hopeful,” said Hoggard, who was part of England’s successful 2005 Ashes-winning side. “We’ve seen that our batting is quite fragile against quality fast bowling. Jerome Taylor proved that for the West Indies when he was fit and firing and the thing with Australia is, they keep on coming at you.”

HOGGARD ON...

Jonathan Trott’s retirement
“I can understand why they wanted Jonathan Trott back in the Test side. He’s been the rock which England have built innings around over a number of years, but the experiment failed.”

Kevin Pietersen’s comeback bid
“He’s not knocking on the door at the minute and is not scoring the weight of runs that he would need in order to get back into the England side.”

England’s bowling attack
“There are questions to be asked of the attack. In home conditions you would most probably say England will play three seamers and an all-rounder so I think Ben Stokes and Chris Jordan are playing for one role.”