OK, perhaps it’s not quite a revolution, but Andy Flower’s removal and Kevin Pietersen’s exclusion is something pretty close to it. Anyway, the turnover continues with England cricket as we hear that Paul Collingwood, former England Test all-rounder, will join the coaching staff for the forthcoming West Indies tour and ICC World Twenty20 in Bangladesh.
Needless to say, he’s chuffed and tells us so via Twitter, naturally:
I’m as excited as a kid at Christmas. Looking forward to working with the King of Spain and the lads #t20worldcup
— Paul Collingwood (@Colly622) February 12, 2014
The King of Spain, if you didn’t quite know, is not Juan Carlos I; rather it’s Ashley Giles, England’s current head coach for the short versions of the game and candidate for the full coaching berth. They call him the King of Spain because he used to bowl spin (Spin/Spain, to clarify). But you knew that.
This appointment, one supposes, is a good move. Collingwood has played 68 Test matches, 197 one-day and 35 Twenty20 internationals, so he has quite a bit of experience. And, perhaps of more interest to the ECB in making this appointment, he captained England to victory in the 2010 ICC World Twenty20 competition. His recent coaching exploits with Scotland, helping them reach these very same finals, will not have gone unnoticed either.
Others approve. Michael Vaughan might not have agreed with Pietersen’s dropping, but he seems to approve wholeheartedly with this appointment. And yes, we know that because of what he said on, you guessed it, Twitter:
More great news for England Cricket fans…. The appointment of @Colly622 … Good luck .. Hooooowwwwaaaaayyyy.
— Michael Vaughan (@MichaelVaughan) February 12, 2014
Let’s hope, however, that Collingwood will not find it awkward coaching England in a possible game against Scotland so soon after coaching them. Is a meeting between these two sides possible?
But I don’t think anyone will worry too much about that. The ECB needs to do something to inject enthusiasm into the dressing room. They need new blood, something to mix things up a little and perhaps provide a more buoyant presence to the side now Graham Swann has retired. There was a feeling that things were getting a little heavy in the dressing room, so perhaps he can lighten some of the load. Though I still have my reservations over the ‘Sprinkler.’
This is only planned to be a short-term secondment from Durham, where he still plays and captains the side, but if it goes well he might stick around a little longer – or perhaps double-hat. Who knows? He captained Durham to last year’s County Championship, so perhaps he will want to keep hold of a good thing.
It’s strange, though. As a player, Paul Collingwood always had a faint cloud hanging over him: His batting lacked – how can one put it politely – refinement, and his bowling, while useful, was never devastating. In the field, however, he was as good as Jonty Rhodes, and there was always a feeling that he brought more to the team than was at first apparent.
Let’s hope that’s the case now he is there as a coach.