LONDON, (Reuters) – Peter Moores was named England coach for the second time yesterday as the cricket board continued its overhaul following the humiliating 5-0 Ashes rout in Australia at the start of the year.
The 51-year-old succeeds Zimbabwean Andy Flower who stepped down after five years in charge following the whitewash Down Under in January.
Moores coached England for two years from 2007 before he was sacked after a fall-out with leading batsman Kevin Pietersen whose international career was ended by the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) after this year’s Ashes defeat.
“It’s great to be back. I feel very proud to get this opportunity because I think it’s a great chance,” Moores told a news conference at Lord’s.
“To work with an outstanding player, person (captain Alastair Cook) and try to build something, it’s an opportunity and to be part of that opportunity I’m very excited and looking forward to the challenges ahead.”
Moores, a journeyman player and a former coach of Sussex, took charge of Lancashire after leaving England and in 2011 led the club to the outright County Championship title for the first time in 77 years.
Former international spinner Ashley Giles, England’s one-day coach, was the favourite to get the number one job.
However, the team’s poor World Twenty20 campaign last month in Bangladesh, where they failed to get past the group stage, appears to have counted against him.
Moores faces a major rebuilding job following the end of Pietersen’s international career, the retirement of experienced off-spinner Graeme Swann and the stress-related problems faced by batsman Jonathan Trott who announced he was taking another break from the game on Friday.
Cook, though, said he was looking forward to England hosting the test series against Sri Lanka and India later this year and also going to the 50-over World Cup in Australia and New Zealand in 2015.
“It’s going to be small steps,” the captain added. “It’s going to take a little time to rebuild but we have got a huge amount of talent in this country and it’s a very exciting time to be an England player.”
ECB managing director Paul Downton, who was appointed in October, said Moores was a perfect fit for the role but did not give any details about the length of contract his new coach had signed.
“Peter has a great reputation around the world as an outstanding coach and he will return to the role as England head coach with a great deal more experience and understanding of the challenges that the role presents,” he explained.
“There is no doubt he is the leading English coach of his generation and I believe that this is his time.
“I was hugely impressed by his vision for the future of the England team and I am looking forward to working with him in the years to come,” said former England wicketkeeper Downton.
“It was a really difficult decision to make as we had an outstanding field but the panel were unanimous in the choice of Peter and I know that support will be echoed around the counties.”