Thursday, December 2News That Matters

England head coach Silverwood to pick Test and white-ball squads after selector Smith axed

Ed Smith was on Tuesday dispensed with as England’s national selector with coach Chris Silverwood empowered to pick squads going forward as part of a revamped system.

Smith, 43, was ditched on the third anniversary of his appointment and a third of the way into a year that includes a Twenty20 World Cup and an Ashes down under.

The timing is unusual for that reason but in announcing the news in a statement in Tuesday evening, Ashley Giles, England’s managing director, cited the need for ‘greater lines of accountability’ amid suggestions that the selection system was archaic.

Engaland selector Ed Smith (left, with Test captain Joe Root) will leave at the end of the month

Engaland selector Ed Smith (left, with Test captain Joe Root) will leave at the end of the month

Engaland selector Ed Smith (left, with Test captain Joe Root) will leave at the end of the month

The new one will have Silverwood at its summit, responsible for all future squad selections and the final XIs on match days alongside the two England captains Joe Root and Eoin Morgan.

James Taylor, effectively Smith’s deputy but whose title was England selector, has moved into a revised position as head scout and will report to Silverwood.

‘I would like to personally thank Ed for his contribution to the England men’s teams over the past three years. Ed’s input has helped deliver successes for all our England teams, and he has worked with commitment and professionalism throughout. I wish him well in his future endeavours,’ said Giles.

‘The current process of selecting England teams has been in place for over 120 years. Even though this system has its merits, with advances in technology and a greater information gathering resource at our disposal than ever before, the restructure is in the best interests of helping England men’s teams be successful.

England managing director Ashley Giles (right, with Smith) is at the heart of the restructure

England managing director Ashley Giles (right, with Smith) is at the heart of the restructure

England managing director Ashley Giles (right, with Smith) is at the heart of the restructure

‘The new structure also makes lines of accountability much clearer, with Chris Silverwood, as head coach, taking ultimate responsibility for picking England senior men’s squads.’

While Smith, somewhat surprisingly selected for the job in the first place by Giles’ predecessor Andrew Strauss, leaves at the end of the month following a decorated spell which included a maiden World Cup title and number one rankings in both white-ball formats.

However, there has been considerable angst in recent months over the decision to leave the England Test team undermanned in India due to a raft of rest and rotation periods.

He was credited for some bold choices early in his tenure, such as the promotion of Sam Curran and Ben Foakes, although those successes would later be offset by his influence in England fielding two spinners in defeat in Barbados in early 2019 and the omission of Stuart Broad in another loss to West Indies at the start of last year’s biosecure summer.

England captains Root and Eoin Morgan (right) will advise Silverwood on team selections

England captains Root and Eoin Morgan (right) will advise Silverwood on team selections

England captains Root and Eoin Morgan (right) will advise Silverwood on team selections

Sportsmail understands that Smith’s contract was due to expire at the end of the 2021-22 winter.

‘It has been a huge privilege to work with great people trying to help England cricket and I am excited about watching England’s continued development,’ Smith said.

‘England’s two captains, Joe and Eoin, have already completed remarkable achievements in an England shirt. England has two men dedicated to playing cricket in a way that makes the country proud. The role of national selector has been enjoyable and rewarding, and that is significantly due to my interaction with all of the England players.

‘At such a high point for England cricket, I wish Ashley Giles, the coaches and all support staff good fortune over the coming months. I know how hard Ashley and his teamwork for England cricket. I’d like to wish Chris Silverwood good luck and every success going forward.’

Under the new process, both Taylor and England men’s performance director Mo Bobat will feed their information to Silverwood, along with other national coaches, performance analysts, and the talent ID, medical and sports science teams.

James Taylor (right) has been given a new role as head scout and will report to Silverwood

James Taylor (right) has been given a new role as head scout and will report to Silverwood

James Taylor (right) has been given a new role as head scout and will report to Silverwood