Chris Silverwood – newly-entrusted with full responsibility for selecting and coaching England’s men’s teams – will hand over the reins to the ODI side this summer in a bid to ensure he takes a midsummer break in a congested year.
England play six ODIs against Sri Lanka and Pakistan from late June to mid-July. Silverwood’s two assistants, Paul Collingwood and Graham Thorpe, will take charge of Eoin Morgan’s team for one series each.
With a T20 World Cup later this year, Silverwood will remain in charge of that format this summer. There are three matches against each of Sri Lanka and Pakistan either side of the ODIs.
After a busy summer in which England play seven Tests as well as the 12 white-ball internationals, they have an epic winter with tours of Pakistan and Bangladesh ahead of the T20 World Cup, then the Ashes and a full tour of the Caribbean. Silverwood is not yet sure whether he will have a break in that time.
Silverwood, who has almost unprecedented responsibility with the men’s national team after Ed Smith was axed as National Selector, says he will try to get away from the game entirely while he has a proper week’s holiday.
“I’m not going to deny – it’s not easy for me,” he said, of switching off from his job. “Obviously I am wholly on board with what we are doing. I am very embedded in it now. I do find it hard to switch off but I’ll do my best.
“If I am not operating at 100% and not giving back what I need to give back to the team, I won't be providing the service of a level, of a quality that I need to do. It’s not fair on the players if I am operating at less than 100% and it is not fair on myself either. It’s not where I want to be. I think it is just important that we keep our personnel as fresh as possible.”
As well as Thorpe and Collingwood, Silverwood has support from Marcus Trescothick (batting), Jon Lewis (fast bowling), Jeetan Patel (spin), and Richard Dawson (whose role is Elite Performance Pathway Coach). He is delighted to give others opportunities in the hot seat.
“Absolutely I said right from the start I was going to step back at times and promote them forward to give them leadership opportunities,” he said. “This is a great opportunity for us to do that, for them to step up and show us what they can do in that position. Equally, give them the responsibility of making decisions, working alongside the captain.
“I think it will be a great experience for them. I wouldn’t do it if I didn’t trust them 100% which I do. If you look at the wealth of experience that the two of them have got, it’s a massive bonus for me to have them next to me wherever we go.
“They have had success all around the world. As players, they played a lot more international cricket than me so you surround yourself with the things that maybe you don’t have and build a team that way. They’re a huge asset to us.”
Silverwood names his first Test squad early next week. It is likely to include the uncapped James Bracey and Ollie Robinson, as well as Craig Overton. England’s IPL stars, currently in quarantine, are unlikely to be involved.