Tag Archives: giles

Andy Flower quits as England one-day coach; Ashley Giles takes over

Flower steps down as England limited overs coach with Giles to take over



12:51 GMT, 28 November 2012

Ashley Giles has stepped up to become England’s limited overs coach in a shock move which sees Andy Flower remain in charge of just Test cricket.

The former England spinner, who has been both Warwickshire coach and England selector since retiring, had been expected to step in for Flower for just the Indian one-day series in January to give the Team Director a break.

But in a surprising and significant development Giles will now leave Edgbaston to take on the coach’s role for all 50-over and Twenty20 cricket and is clearly the heir apparent to Flower when he eventually calls it a day.

Stepping aside: Flower is to continue as Test head coach

Stepping aside: Flower is to continue as Test head coach

Flower said: 'I’m very excited by these changes and very much looking forward to working with Ashley Giles as we look to build on the success England cricket has had in the last few years.

'The changes in my role will provide me with new challenges and the time to allow me to focus on areas that are important if England cricket is to continually improve.

'These include developing strategies to give us an opportunity for sustaining success in all three formats of the game. The change in role will also allow me to thoroughly plan and prepare for each of our international series whilst spending the right amount of time at home with my young family.'

Giles, who appeared in 54 Tests and 62 one-day internationals for England, added: 'I am delighted to have been appointed England ODI and T20 Head Coach and to be given an opportunity to coach at international level.

Shock: The announcement was unexpected

Shock: The announcement was unexpected

'I have worked closely with Andy in recent years as a selector and am looking forward to continuing to work together and to build on the progress that has been made with the ODI and T20 sides in recent years.'

Flower has endured a difficult year,
with poor results and the drawn-out Kevin Pietersen saga dominating his
time, and concern had grown that the most successful coach in England’s
history may be hastened towards the exit door.

Yet the ECB vowed to do everything in
their power to keep Flower at the helm as long as possible and seemed
set to give him a break early next year.

Now that has been extended to all
limited overs cricket and Giles, who led Warwickshire to the county
championship title last summer, will start his new role as soon as
England’s thoughts turn to limited overs cricket in the new year.

The hope now is that the move
prolongs Flower’s involvement at the head of the England team for as
long as possible as he turns his thoughts to the back to back Ashes
series that will dominate next year.

Up for the cup: Giles lifts the County Championship earlier this year

Up for the cup: Giles lifts the County Championship earlier this year

Giles, meanwhile, will have the
immediate challenge of the Champions Trophy in England next summer which
gives England a realistic chance of their first global 50-over trophy.
He will then turn his attention to the 2015 World Cup.

The popular member of the 2005
Ashes-winning side has clearly been identified as the best English coach
around and jumps ahead of Flower’s assistant Richard Halsall, who
filled in when Flower was ill during the last Ashes tour and for a
one-day international assignment in Ireland last year.

Halsall, who began as specialist
fielding coach, is expected to return to the world of teaching when his
time with England ends and it was unclear today where he fits in with
the new arrangement.

Giles has attracted some criticism
for having the dual role of county coach and England selector but now he
will throw in his lot completely with England. He will still answer to
Flower but clearly, unless something goes drastically wrong, he is now
destined to succeed him. That process started today.

Rory McIlroy Nike deal cleared to go after Titleist refuse to offer new contract

Rory's 156m deal with Nike cleared to go as Titleist admit they won't renew contract



22:00 GMT, 30 October 2012

Rory McIlroy's long-mooted switch to Nike moved a step closer when his current club manufacturer Titleist said they would not be renewing his contract.

All the signs are that the 23-year-old world No 1 will now become the new poster boy for a Nike brand keen to improve their image following the Lance Armstrong scandal. McIlroy is expected to sign a 10-year contract that could earn him 156million.

Not everyone is convinced he has made the right move, ditching the only clubs he has used since he was a teenager.

Posterboys: Rory McIlroy (right) looks set to join Tiger Woods (left) at Nike

Posterboys: Rory McIlroy (right) looks set to join Tiger Woods (left) at Nike

‘I’d call it dangerous,’ said six-time major champion Sir Nick Faldo. ‘Every manufacturer will tell you we can copy your clubs and tweak the golf ball so it fits you. But there is a feel and sound as well, and there’s confidence.

‘It is easy to go off and do this and it messes you up because it just doesn’t feel quite the same.’

Meanwhile, the prestigious HSBC Championship starts on Thursday in Shenzhen, China, without McIlory and world No 2 Tiger Woods, who played an 18-hole exhibition match just 750 miles away on Monday.

Seven of the world’s top 10 will battle for a 4.3m prize fund, but Giles Morgan, HSBC’s world head of sponsorship, warned that without all the top players available, golf sponsorship will suffer.

Patrick Collins on the Kevin Pietersen saga

Redemption KP's been there, done that and got the T-shirt…


22:05 GMT, 6 October 2012



22:05 GMT, 6 October 2012

On a steamy day in distant Colombo,
Giles Clarke wore a silk suit, a club tie and a superior stare. He
delivered his statement slowly, portentously, as if it were a prize-day
oration at one of our more expensive public schools. And, in truth, it
was priceless stuff.

‘In our society,’ said the ECB
chairman, ‘we believe that if an individual transgresses, and the
individual concerned recognises that and apologises for what they may
have caused to those involved, then it is important, and a fabric of our
society, that the individual should be given a real opportunity to be
reintegrated into our society.’

The ‘individual’, Kevin Pietersen, was
sitting a few feet away. His face was a bewildered question-mark: ‘Is
he talking about me’ And he wasn’t sure that he’d like the answer.

Not in the script: Kevin Pietersen reacts to Giles Clarke in Coilombo

Not in the script: Kevin Pietersen reacts to Giles Clarke in Coilombo

What he’d expected was a light rap
across the knuckles, followed by an assurance that he’d be back in the
England side as soon as they could fix it without losing face. Broady,
Swanny and all those other blokeish nicknames would promise to stop
laughing at him, while he would stop texting the opposition with
‘provocative’, but not ‘derogatory’, messages about his team-mates.

As a result he, KP, would intensify
his efforts to become richer and more famous, and everyone would be
friends for ever and ever. Or at least until the next time. That was
what was supposed to happen.Instead, he found Giles Clarke expounding
penal policy under the guise of a cricket decision.

KP’s advisers, who
have always done such a great job for him, hadn’t prepared him for
this. He glanced at his own script, so bland and vacuous that he might
almost have written it himself. There was that remark about how ‘playing
cricket for England was the pinnacle of any South African cricketer’s

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He hoped he’d got that right. And he
really liked the bit about ‘drawing a line’ and ‘time to move forward’.
He hoped he hadn’t used it when he fell out with Natal and Notts and
Hampshire. Hard to remember. The rest of us wondered why the chairman
refused to come clean. After all, he knows that England are making a
special case of Pietersen. The player may be disruptive, narcissistic, a
royal pain in the neck, but he is an extraordinary talent whose absence
leaves a gaping hole in the middle order. And so they are bending the
rules to accommodate him.

But that was not what the man in the
silk suit was saying as on he ploughed, all wobbling jowls and
lugubrious vowels. No, he was wagging his finger, speaking very slowly,
emphasising selected words: ‘The ECB and Kevin will consider the matter
as closed, and no … further … questions … on … the … subject … will …
be … taken.’

The newly reintegrated Pietersen tried
to appear inscrutable but it didn’t work. He may not be the sharpest
knife in the box, but he has been here before.

The ECB may think it’s all over, but KP knows it has only just begun.

Tiger's Ryder Cup gesture made a perfect day even better

The back of the 18th green at Medinah last Sunday evening was the most privileged position in the whole of sport. From a range of just a few feet, we could study the stress on familiar faces, hear the faint click of ball on putter, enjoy the dawning realisation that the apparently impossible would soon become reality.

And almost as stirring as the unfolding drama was the gesture of Tiger Woods, who conceded a problematical putt to Francesco Molinari and gave Europe the victory by a point. Had Molinari missed the putt, then the match would have been drawn. Woods later explained himself by saying: ‘It was already over. We came here as a team, this is a team event. And the Cup was retained by Europe, so it was already over.’

Great gesture: Tiger Woods halves with Francesco Molinari

Great gesture: Tiger Woods halves with Francesco Molinari

In other words, Europe held the trophy and they would retain it through either a win or a draw. He was criticised in some bloodless quarters, yet it felt like a vaguely noble gesture, the act of somebody who understands the art of gracious defeat. So we were given drama and nobility, the very stuff of great sport. It seemed that the occasion was just perfect. Until we heard the yelps of the bookmakers.

Woods, it appears, was not a lofty idealist, but a base villain. It was the bookies who said so. You see, very few people place their money on a tie, which means that the tie would have been the ideal result for the corporate vultures. Tiger’s magnanimous gesture had cost them a good deal. Just how much we cannot say, since in these cases they tend to think of a figure and double it. One bunch of chancers claimed a loss of 800,000, another put their damage at a mere 650,000 and a couple more reported around half a million.

An ‘independent expert’, asked for an estimate of their total losses, came up with the sum of 10m, which is the kind of random figure your pet parrot might be ashamed to utter.

Whatever the real figures, these charmless characters, who make their money through a tax on stupidity, had caught a considerable cold. And suddenly, on the back of the 18th green, a perfect day got even better.

Football just can't get enough of Ridsdale

Football is the most generous, warm-hearted, endlessly forgiving of sports. I cite the one and only Peter Ridsdale.

A decade ago, Ridsdale was the man who ‘lived the dream’ as chairman of Leeds United. It was a golden era, with money spent as if there were no tomorrow. Unfortunately, tomorrow arrived too soon. Leeds collapsed with debts of more than 100million, and the dreamer was forced to seek alternative employment.

Dream on: Peter Ridsdale

Dream on: Peter Ridsdale

He found it at Barnsley, Plymouth and Cardiff, where his Midas touch was much coveted. Sadly, that touch deserted him again when chairman of Cardiff. A company he owned while working for Cardiff City went into liquidation owing 442,353 in unpaid tax and VAT.

‘He acted improperly and in breach of his duties,’ said the Insolvency Service. As a consequence, he has just been disqualified from acting as a company director for the next seven-and-a-half years.

But you can’t keep a great man down, and Ridsdale is now Preston North End’s chairman of football. And nobody seems to think this an odd state of affairs.

Indeed, the mood is articulated by the eminent pundit Paul Merson.

‘He must be doing something right to keep getting offered so many jobs in football,’ said Merson. ‘I’ve only met him once and I thought he was a lovely bloke. We chatted for about half-an-hour, and he was as nice as pie.’

That’s football for you: a game of warmth, generosity … and a wonderfully short memory.


A few weeks ago, as the nation basked in its Olympic glow, Roy Hodgson admitted that football had a lot to learn from the spirit of the Games.

He spoke, a shade enviously, of the civilised behaviour of the players and the watchers.

‘A benchmark has been set and we must accept that we’ll be under a little more of the spotlight,’ he said.

Golden days, indeed, and Hodgson will surely recall how London’s mayor, Boris Johnson, expressed the prevailing mood.

‘These are extraordinary times,’ said Boris. ‘Why, total strangers have been talking to each other on the Tube.’

Kevin Pietersen needs his old ego to be worth it – Martin Samuel

England crave the old ego on stilts, not Pietersen Lite



22:00 GMT, 3 October 2012

Reintegrated into society Kevin Pietersen was guilty of disloyalty not dismemberment.

‘Kevin will be engaged in a reintegration process which has already been started today by a lengthy discussion with me,’ said ECB chairman Giles Clarke. An independent arbiter for all sides has also been mentioned. This is what is known as making a drama out of a crisis.

Sorry, and we move on: or don’t have him back at all. The choices for the ECB could not have been simpler.

Ego: England need the 'peacock' Kevin Pietersen

Ego: England need the 'peacock' Kevin Pietersen

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Instead, the Pietersen saga will play out in a series of team meetings, pseudo-counselling and finally, it is expected, a return to the team in the first Test against India in Ahmedabad. /10/03/article-2212469-1553BF21000005DC-157_468x304.jpg” width=”468″ height=”304″ alt=”Rise above: Pietersen was worth dealing with because of his ability” class=”blkBorder” />

Rise above: Pietersen was worth dealing with because of his ability

And no doubt it would have stayed that way, had Pietersen’s absence not left a large hole in England’s middle order. Most people knew it would, they just did not know how quickly England would move from being the No 1 team in the world to floundering on all fronts.

The answer was to rehabilitate Pietersen. Yet unless the ECB are going to let him be the epitome of confidence that makes him such a difficult character, how will it work A subdued, browbeaten Pietersen is no use at all. There is a middle ground, in which he conforms to the team ethic, while still being allowed to keep the personality that makes him a great player. The one that gets everybody’s back up.

Semantics: The apology was not worth much on its own

Semantics: The apology was not worth much on its own

The public apology, made on Wednesday, is hardly important. He needs to bond again with his team-mates, not the public. Fans have simple priorities. Those who follow England will accept Pietersen the moment he starts scoring runs. It is the others in the dressing-room, the ones who feel he let them down, who need to be happy with the new arrangement.

The problem with the rehabilitation process is that it smacks of being a long, drawn-out draining affair, when what is needed is some straight talking and a swift resolution. Pietersen cannot come back on his terms, but nor must he return exhausted as KP Lite.

Kevin Pietersen could be blocked from being TV pundit

Pietersen may face TV blow as Clarke could block his role as World Twenty20 pundit



22:27 GMT, 25 August 2012

Kevin Pietersen may find his bid for employment in the World T20 as a commentator for ESPN Star Sports scuppered by England Cricket Board chairman Giles Clarke.

The ICC’s had recruited Pietersen as a commentator for the two-week tournament in Sri Lanka next month. But ESPN must present their list of commentators to the hosts, Sri Lanka, then ICC, who own the World T20 tournament.

The ICC committee responsible for approving the list, the commerce committee, is chaired by ECB chairman Clarke.

New job: Kevin Pietersen will provide analysis on the championship

New job: Kevin Pietersen will provide analysis on the championship

Doncaster 1 Reading 1: Rovers end Royals winning run

Doncaster 1 Reading 1: Rovers end Royals winning run and boost their survival chances



22:03 GMT, 13 March 2012

Reading saw their eight-game npower Championship winning run come to an end as they were held to what could be a vital draw for a spirited Doncaster.

The Royals had blitzed all that had come before them in recent weeks as they surge towards the Premier League, but they were came up against a Rovers side fighting to stay in the division at the other end.

And it was Dean Saunders' side that took the lead midway through the first half when Kyle Bennett put the finishing touch on El-Hadji Diouf's lead-up work, finishing a fine team move.

Fightback: Alex Pearce celebrates after heading in the equalising goal

Fightback: Alex Pearce celebrates after heading in the equalising goal


It would have been an injustice had
the visitors been defeated, though, as they had missed three glaring
chances before Diouf's goal and Alex Pearce, who missed two of them,
finally bagged by heading Ian Harte's corner home shortly after the
break to level.

Both sides could have won it as Giles
Barnes went close for the home side and Pearce was again denied for
Reading, but it ended all square.

Still, the point was enough for Brian
McDermott's side to move into the automatic promotion places and they
look a good bet to be celebrating come the end of April, while Rovers
remain unbeaten in five and are now three points adrift of safety.

The hosts returned to the Keepmoat on
the back of an impressive four-point haul from back-to-back away games
at Nottingham Forest and West Ham, while Reading arrived in simply
irresistible form with eight wins on the bounce.

It was the Royals that could have
taken an early lead, but Diouf was an unlikely hero as he cleared
Pearce's powerful header from Harte's corner off the line.

Harte's deliveries were causing chaos
in the Rovers six-yard box in the opening 15 minutes and Pearce
unbelievably missed another chance from three yards before Mikele
Leigertwood also headed over with goalkeeper Carl Ikeme stranded.

Going ahead: Kyle Bennett runs off to celebrate as Reading's Shaun Cummins looks dejected

Going ahead: Kyle Bennett runs off to celebrate as Reading's Shaun Cummins looks dejected

Doncaster could easily have been three
down, but with their first real opening they took a surprise lead in
the 27th minute and it was a superb team goal.

The hosts expertly manoeuvred the ball
out to the right, where Diouf played a one-two with James Coppinger and
the Senegal international whipped in a low cross which Bennett met at
the far post to prod home.

That goal galvanised Rovers and they
were enjoying a good spell in the lead up to half-time, but they had to
be thankful to Ikeme's agility to keep them in the advantage with two
fine saves.

First he scooped away Noel Hunt's
downward header and then he kept out a low Jem Karacan effort as the
half-time whistle could not come soon enough for Rovers.

It was only a matter of time until
Reading made one of Harte's delicious deliveries count and they finally
did so six minutes after the restart when a deep corner was met by
Pearce, who made no mistake from five yards out.

Rovers were in no mood to lie down,
though, as they twice went close to restoring their lead through
Frederic Piquionne's header and Barnes' volley.

Doncaster continued to look the more
likely to score again and Habib Beye glanced his header wide after good
wing play by Coppinger.

However, the inevitable Reading
onslaught came in the final 15 minutes and Pearce was denied again as
Sam Hird cleared off the line before Jason Roberts, Hunt and Kaspar
Gorkss all went close.

Giles Clarke poised for third term as ECB chairman

Clarke poised for unprecedented third term as ECB chairman

Giles Clarke is set to continue as chairman of the England and Wales Cricket Board until 2015.

ECB has announced Clarke has been
nominated for the role by the 18 first class counties and Marylebone
Cricket Club for the next term of office up to the organisation's annual
general meeting in 2015.

Top man: ECB chairman Giles Clarke

Top man: ECB chairman Giles Clarke

No other nominations were received and Clarke's candidacy will now be put forward for election by the 41 full members of the ECB. The result will be known in mid-March.

Clarke said: 'I am most grateful and honoured by the First Class Counties and MCC in being re-nominated for the role of ECB Chairman.'

Ben Ainslie apologises for World Championships row

Ainslie apologises for going overboard at World Championships

There is a story from the Eighties of a Daily Telegraph sailing writer who, having written an article disliked by its subject, was pushed off a pontoon while fully clothed and with his notepad and camera on him.

When he tried to clamber back to dry land, his tormentor stamped on his fingers. That apart, there are few precedents for the extraordinary scenes played out at the World Championships in Perth, Australia, this weekend.

Ben Ainslie, the greatest British Olympian of his era, was so angered by a TV boat hampering his progress by getting too close to him as he raced on Saturday that, after finishing second, he jumped out of his Finn, swam over, climbed aboard their vessel, remonstrated with them, dived off, and swam back.

Angry: Ainslie shouts at the television crew after feeling his Finn had been impeded by their boat

Angry: Ainslie shouts at the television crew after feeling his Finn had been impeded by their boat

The punishment for his aberration wasdisqualification from the competition he was leading. Ainslie called the sanction an “overreaction”. The maximum option open to the jury was atwo-year ban, ruling him out of the Olympics. Now that would really have been an over-reaction.

Nonetheless Ainslie felt a deep disappointment because he would otherwise have taken a lead into Sunday”s final race, thanks to some of the best sailing of his life. A sixth Finn world gold medal of his career was there for the taking.

Instead Giles Scott, one of Sportsmail”sMagnificent Seven, won – a fabulous reward having missed out to Ainsliein the battle for selection as the sole British Finn sailor at London 2012.

I spoke to Ainslie on Sunday from theother side of the world. He began by congratulating Scott, saying: “Giles deserves the victory and nothing that”s happened takes anything away from that.”

Bust-up: The British sailing champion confronts one of the TV crew after climbing aboard his boat

Bust-up: The British sailing champion confronts one of the TV crew after climbing aboard his boat

It was typical of Ainslie, whose off-water demeanour is the epitome of reserve and good manners. That is just one of several reasons why there is no rush here to condemn him.

Another is that his whole story of success is based on an on-water desire bordering on the maniacal: his refusal to be bullied by an opponent, his insistence on fighting for every advantage including pushing the rules to the limit.

It was just what British sport neededwhen he made his Olympic debut at Atlanta in 1996. Steve Redgrave and Matt Pinsent won the one and only British gold medal there. Ainslie, aged 19, took silver in the Laser.

For four years he worked relentlesslytowards the ultimate reward at Sydney 2000 – the first of three Olympictitles so far. He achieved it in controversy by blocking his great rival Robert Scheidt in the final race.

It meant Ainslie”s points lead could not be overhauled. Unsporting, said some. “That”s tactics, that”s racing,” countered Ainslie.

Cooling off: Ainslie dives into the water after making his point and earning a disqualification

Cooling off: Ainslie dives into the water after making his point and earning a disqualification

Speaking on Sunday, he said: “What happened this weekend was one crazy incident. It was over in five seconds. There is no doubt that the TV boat was closer to me than it should have been and having an adverse effect on me. I told them that. They apologised and I apologised to them. Everything was fine.

“I am pleased I sailed fantastically well and dealt with the pressure when I raced. This was a non-racing incident. It”s a shame. Let”s move on.”

He added convincingly: “It will not have any bearing on the Olympics.”