England are preparing to announce their new limited-overs coach and a revamped Test squad in the coming days, as Rob Key’s overhaul of the men’s side continues to take shape.
Things have been moving quickly at the England and Wales Cricket Board in recent weeks, with Key’s arrival as managing director followed by the appointment of Ben Stokes and Brendon McCullum as captain and coach of the men’s red-ball team.
The first Test squad of the summer is now expected to be named on Wednesday, two weeks before England face New Zealand at Lord’s, while a final decision on McCullum’s white-ball counterpart is also imminent pending board approval.
Australia women’s coach Matthew Mott is in pole position to take a post, with the Daily Telegraph reporting that the Queenslander is in advanced negotiations after impressing Key’s interview panel.
Mott, 48, has overseen an era of international dominance for the Southern Stars since taking over in 2015, scooping three successive global titles – two Twenty20 World Cups and this year’s 50-over tournament – and three Ashes victories.
McCullum was not directly involved in the white-ball process, with Key keen for the job-share to be one of equals after the imbalanced relationship between Andy Flower and Ashley Giles when England previously attempted a split.
As well as putting the finishing touches to the recruitment process, Key has also been taking a lead role chairing the selection process for the first home international of the year on June 2. The former Kent skipper does not intend to hold on to that responsibility in the long term, and is considering returning to a national selector, but has been working closely with Stokes on the initial squad.
James Anderson and Stuart Broad are both certain to return following their omission from the series defeat in the West Indies, Joe Root’s last as captain, but the vastly experienced pair could be joined by fresh faces in the form of uncapped trio Harry Brook, Matt Parkinson and Matthew Potts.
Unlike Brook, Potts is playing Division Two cricket with Durham but has nevertheless timed a career-best run of form impeccably. With a lengthy injury list of seamers including the likes of Mark Wood, Chris Woakes, Jofra Archer, Olly Stone and Matthew Fisher, his haul of 35 wickets at 18.57 makes him the coming man.
The 23-year-old has taken five-wicket hauls against Leicestershire, Nottinghamshire, Worcestershire and Glamorgan, with the latter two performances coming in front of team-mate Stokes.
Lancashire leg-spinner Parkinson, meanwhile, will be hoping the incoming regime give him the chance he has long craved. He has yet to get the nod at Test level, despite several tours as a squad member or reserve, but has kept his standards reliably high and his 23 wickets make him the most prolific spinner in the country this year.