Bayliss willing to make way as T20 coach

Cricket


Something has to give and Trevor Bayliss is happy for it to be him. Building on his argument that T20 internationals should be jettisoned from an unsustainably hectic schedule, the England coach has endorsed his deputy Paul Farbrace to take over from him in the shortest form of the game ahead of the timeline he has set for his departure at the end of the 2019 summer.

“I am the same as everyone else,” he said in the aftermath of his side’s exit from the tri-series. “It is the way it is heading. Eventually, you will have specialist coaches.”

Bayliss can see the shift to multiple coaches coming at the end of his tenure but appreciates that it might make sense to bring it on now. He wouldn’t lose any sleep if it did. “That will obviously be a discussion with higher levels, with Andrew Strauss and people like that,” he said. “If that was what they thought was the way to go ahead, I’d be all for it. If not, I am more than happy to keep going and work with these guys towards that next T20 World Cup.”

Of Farbrace, the man who oversaw England on a temporary basis in 2015 after Peter Moores’ sacking, Bayliss said he would do a “grand job” in charge. “I don’t think it would be too much of a problem at all,” he said. “He’s very well respected among the group of players, he knows the England system very well and he’s a very personable guy. He has a good relationship with the players and a good coach. He has experience around the world.”

That Bayliss was only able to spend two nights in his Australian home throughout the duration of England’s four-month tour of the country helped reinforced to him that there is just too much going on. “From the start of May last year I think we have 21 months of cricket out of 23 and we’re halfway through that,” he said. “When you add the practice and travelling on top of it, it’s tough. That’s what we’re paid for and we love doing it but it doesn’t make it any easier.”

More to the point, Bayliss believes this squeeze is why top-flight cricket is reaching a stage where players are “forced into” having to drop a format entirely if they plan to excel at the other two. “If boards don’t make a decision like that and we continue to play international T20s,” he said, “then I’ll fully expect guys to pull out of one or the other.”

Citing Adil Rashid’s announcement last week that he would be doing just that by exiting four-day cricket with Yorkshire, Bayliss continued: “If you play every form of the game – we have a few guys who do that – there is no way you can play every game. Your career would be three or four years long and that would be it. Something has got to give.”

Bayliss stressed that this new world order wouldn’t necessarily create a lesser global game, especially considering that T20 internationals are routinely played by teams well short of full strength. “Is it fair on the fans,” he asked, “if you are not playing your full team?”

He also supported players in their efforts to earn as much money as they can while they can by maximising their exposure to the T20 leagues as white-ball aficionados. “There’s no denying you’re in the game because you love it but it’s also a living for the players as well and they’ve got to make a decision based on what’s best for them over a long period of time. Their careers are usually over by the time they are 35.”



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