FORMER skipper Michael Vaughan has compounded fears that the continued exclusion of controversial batsman Kevin Pietersen could harm England’s chances of attracting a top-class candidate to the vacant head coach position.
Vaughan’s comments followed ex-Australia opener Matthew Hayden and leg-spinner Shane Warne questioning whether leading coaches would be prepared to work under such restrictions.
England’s new director of cricket Andrew Strauss is charged with finding a new coach before this summer’s Ashes, having sacked Peter Moores last week and placed assistant Paul Farbrace in temporary charge for two imminent Tests with New Zealand.
Strauss confirmed Pietersen’s continued ostracism from the international fold on Tuesday, citing long-term trust issues, while the 34-year-old was yesterday ruled out for at least two weeks with calf and achilles injuries and will not travel to the Indian Premier League as planned.
“My biggest concern is that by alienating Pietersen from the set-up Strauss might have put off a few potential candidates from applying for the vacant coach’s job,” said Vaughan.
“Perhaps they will look at it and think ‘why would I want to go into a position where all the big decisions have been made?’ and wonder what exactly is the role of the coach.
“English cricket needs the best man for the job and cannot afford to lose a good candidate because they fear how much power they will really wield, while at the same time being held accountable for results.”
Yorkshire boss Jason Gillespie and Western Australia’s Justin Langer have both been linked to the England post, although former team-mate Hayden believes a new coach’s authority will be blunted by the presence of Strauss.
“You’d be crazy to apply for the England coach’s role because with a director you are the man the establishment is going to kick,” he said. “You’re going to have no control whatsoever. I think England are entering a very dangerous space.”
Australia great Warne tweeted: “Will the England and Wales Cricket Board only employ a new coach on the proviso be doesn’t want KP in the team? Gillespie or Langer would have wanted KP.”
Yorkshire director of cricket Martyn Moxon said yesterday that the county champions were yet to receive an approach from the ECB for Gillespie.