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Australian legend Shane Warne, the man who remarked during his playing days that a cricket coach’s only use was to lead the team to and from the ground, has expressed interest in taking on the job with England.
As the old foe sought a new coach after Chris Silverwood was sacked following a disastrous 4-0 Ashes tour of Australia, the leg champ told the Sky Sports Cricket Podcast he would be up for the challenge of overturning England’s recent terrible red ball form.
“I think I would do a really good job…I would love to do it,” Warne said, when asked by host Nasser Hussain if he would be able to take on the job.
“I think there are a lot of things to work on, but I wouldn’t be called the coach; I think I would be called team leader.
Despite a horror tour of Australia, Warne believes there is “a lot to work on” within the England setup – if they can get the fundamentals back on track.
“There are so many good players in England, you have a lot of depth – you just have to master some of the basics,” Warne said.
“Your catch, you can’t play without balls and drop that many catches.
“You have the players, they just aren’t performing.”
Warne currently coaches London Spirit in England’s The Hundred competition, while he has worked as a spin-bowling consultant for a number of teams around the world, including Australia.
For him, the key to a successful coach lies in one thing: honesty.
“You have to be honest with the players,” he said.
“It’s like when you drop a player, you don’t say ‘team balance’ or ‘we’re just going with this team for these conditions’.
“You say why you’re left out, there’s a reason you’re left out.
“Not all players may like what they hear, but they will respect you for being honest with them.”
Warne became famous for several controversial calls about team selection in the media. His criticism of Mitchell Starc became infamous, as he called for all-rounder Marcus Stoinis and Tasmanian fast bowler Riley Meredith, among others, to be given Test opportunities for Australia.
The same goes for England, with Warne pushing hard for versatile T20 Liam Livingstone to become a regular in any format.
“I think he has a role to play in red-ball cricket and is worth trying in the middle order,” Warne said.
“He also does some pretty handy leg rotations. A bit of a turn of the wrist when the bowlers are tired, it would be quite dangerous.
Warne has also endorsed former Australia manager Justin Langer as an ideal candidate for England, following his acrimonious departure from the Australian job.
The Western Australian has already been heavily linked with the job, with former captains Hussain and Michael Vaughan giving their blessings and current cricket manager Andrew Strauss admitting he was well and truly in the frame.
“If I was England I would jump on him,” Warne said of Langer.
Warne was a vocal critic of Cricket Australia and the players’ role in the 51-year-old’s ousting, describing his exit as “a disgrace”.
“I thought it was really poor Cricket Australia,” Warne said on fox cricket at the beginning of February.
“The way it was handled, I thought was a disgrace.
“I don’t know if it was the right decision. I don’t know how it got there.
England are preparing for their next three-Test series against West Indies in the Caribbean, with former player Paul Collingwood as caretaker manager.