Time is right for Allan to make return

Andy Lloyd
LOSING Ottis Gibson as bowling coach was a huge blow for Andy Flower and his England coaching team. He was highly-respected in the ranks, especially among the seamers, and it’s credit to him that the likes of Stuart
Broad and James Anderson are now recognised among the world’s elite.

But it is because of his success that Ottis was almost a certainty to replace John Dyson in charge of his native West Indies as and when he showed an interest.

It’s a fantastic opportunity for him and he will leave England with the best wishes of everyone in the camp.

Now, Flower has been left with the job of finding a new bowling coach – and it’s not a decision he’ll be taking lightly. Over the last few months, he has got his side playing some decent cricket and has formed a good chemistry with captain Andrew Strauss and the players. His No1 priority will be to ensure that isn’t disrupted.

Yesterday, a dear friend of mine, Allan Donald, threw his name into the hat, and that, for me, is a match made in heaven.

I played with, and captained, Allan for six to seven years at Warwickshire and not only was he an exceptionally quick bowler, but he also had an excellent cricketing brain.

Allan bonded with this England team when he was appointed as a bowling consultant in 2007 and was a big loss when he stood down after three months to be with his family.

But Allan is also an itchy individual who needs to be doing something. Not being involved does not sit well with his character and he clearly feels now is his time.

Darren Gough is another top candidate, who will be popular in the dressing room. An infectious character and arguably England’s top one-day bowler since the shortened format began, Darren certainly has all of the playing qualifications, but the strength of his technical qualifications are unknown.

Allan will slot into the England set-up almost unnoticed, so, for me, he has to be the man to help take this side forward.