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Hollioake joins England’s Ashes coaching staff

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SYDNEY: Former England all-rounder Adam Hollioake has joined the team’s coaching staff, who have been hit by a Covid-19 outbreak ahead of the fourth Ashes Test against Australia.

The match is due to start on Tuesday in Sydney with Australia having already retained the Ashes, leading the five-Test series 3-0 with two Tests to play.

Hollioake will work with his old Surrey team-mate Graham Thorpe, who is in charge of the England team while head coach Chris Silverwood isolates in Melbourne after a family member tested positive for Covid-19.

Seam bowling coach Jon Lewis, spin bowling coach Jeetan Patel and fitness coach Darren Veness also tested positive for the virus and have been forced to stay behind in Melbourne.

Thorpe said that Hollioake, who played four Tests and 35 ODIs in the late 1990s, will bring a “bit of energy” in the dressing room.

“Adam is not just another set of hands,” Thorpe told British media on Friday. “He can bring a bit of energy to the dressing room and the philosophical side of life as well, which is very important in times like this.

“He’ll bring that nice sense of perspective. But also for me it’s about standing up as well. The players have an opportunity. We want to see fight and character. I don’t want to see people drop their heads.

“There’s no point getting like that. We’ve got two matches left in this series for our players to show they’ve got the character and spirit and the skill to perform.”


Meanwhile, former India and South Africa coach Gary Kirsten has said he would be interested in coaching England’s beleaguered Test side as long as the role does not involve coaching the limited-over teams as well.

British media reported Silverwood’s job is on the line after losing the Ashes in Australia.

Kirsten, a former opening batsman, led both India and South Africa to the top of the Test rankings as coach and the 54-year-old said coaching England would be a “tremendous honour”.

“I’ve walked this journey twice now [when England recruited new coaches in 2015 and 2019] and I’ve always made it clear that I would never commit to doing all formats,” Kirsten told i News.

“And when international cricket boards get their head around the fact that they need to split coaching roles, then it becomes a consideration.”

England won the 2019 ODI World Cup on home soil but the test team has failed to fire and find themselves seventh in the World Test Championship table after losing five matches this year — including two home defeats by India.

“Listen, the England ODI side is set up, you’re the best ODI side in the world at the moment. It’s a project that has been well-thought out, you’ve got consistency in the players that have been picked,” Kirsten added.

“Your Test side has battled for a while but it would be a really lovely project to get that going.”

Published in Dawn, January 1st, 2022

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