Ex-opener Nick Compton calls for Gary Kirsten to replace beleaguered England coach

Gary Kirsten. (Ashley Vlotman/Gallo Images)

South African-born former England opener Nick Compton has called on the England Cricket Board (ECB) to replace under-fire England coach Chris Silverwood with former Proteas coach Gary Kirsten.

Kirsten took India to No 1 on the Test rankings in 2009 before guiding them to the 2011 50-over ICC World Cup on home soil.

He then led the Proteas to the pinnacle of the red-ball arena in 2012 during his two-year spell from 2011 to 2013.

Durban-born Compton said Kirsten should have gotten the England job when Trevor Bayliss departed in 2019 and tweeted that “Gary Kirsten was offered the England Job but was usurped by Silverwood in final hour because of a better PP presentation“.

Kirsten confirmed to Sport24 that he was interviewed for the role, but he was not offered the position as Compton suggested.

Nonetheless, Compton was vehement when speaking to Sky Sports News that Kirsten should be the man in charge in the wake of England’s calamitous Ashes defeat Down Under.

“I think Silverwood is a good man and did the best he can. Kirsten would be the right person,” said Compton, who played 16 Tests for England before retiring in 2018.

“He understands top-level batting. He’s been there in a consistent fashion.

“It’s about getting the right people into the right places. I don’t think (ECB managing director) (Ashley) Giles has made the right appointments.

“I think Kirsten should have got the coaching job, someone who’s more skilled, with experience of taking teams to No 1 in the world, who has won World Cups.

“With all due respect to Silverwood, he’s given his absolute best, but he hasn’t had the long-term experience of being a head coach.

“As well as giving him complete autonomy with the selection, it’s a huge role to take on. The selection has been pretty abysmal in this series, it obviously hasn’t worked. 

“He could have stayed as the bowling coach. I think Kirsten would have been the right man to take on this role.”

England are 3-0 down to Australia in the five-match series and looking to avoid a whitewash.

The visitors were handed another blow when Silverwood was forced to self-isolate for 10 days after testing positive for Covid.

Silverwood and his family must isolate in Melbourne for 10 days while the rest of the touring party heads to Sydney for the clash starting on January 5.

Batting coach Graham Thorpe is expected to take over as interim head coach.

– additional reporting by AFP.

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