Portugal Colonial - England axe managing director Giles after Ashes flop

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England axe managing director Giles after Ashes flop
England axe managing director Giles after Ashes flop

England axe managing director Giles after Ashes flop

Ashley Giles "stepped down" from his role as managing director of England men's cricket on Wednesday as he paid the price for the team's woeful 4-0 Ashes series loss in Australia.

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The humiliating reverse against their oldest rivals followed a poor 2021 where England lost nine of their 15 Tests and were beaten in the semi-finals of the World Twenty20.

"Ashley Giles is standing down as managing director, England men's cricket," said an England and Wales Cricket Board statement.

The 48-year-old was appointed at the end of 2018, replacing former England captain Andrew Strauss, who will now take over on an interim basis ahead of next month's three-Test series in the West Indies.

"Off the back of a disappointing men's Ashes this winter we must ensure we put in place the conditions across our game to enable our Test team to succeed," said ECB chief executive Tom Harrison in a statement.

Former England left-arm spinner Giles' position was widely regarded as untenable following the Ashes defeat, where for all the problems of touring Australia amid the Covid-19 pandemic, he was criticised for giving under-pressure head coach Chris Silverwood sole authority for picking the side after being behind the sacking of national selector Ed Smith.

Wednesday's statement saw both Giles and the ECB acknowledge the highlights of his reign, which included a maiden 50-over world title in 2019, rising to the top of the top of the Twenty20 rankings and a current position of fourth in the Test standings.

It added Strauss will "put in place arrangements for the forthcoming West Indies tour, while the search begins for a full-time replacement."

Giles and Silverwood submitted their report on the Ashes campaign to Strauss, the chairman of the ECB cricket committee, last week.

Strauss made his recommendations to a full ECB board meeting on Wednesday.

Several pundits, including former England captain Mike Atherton, have questioned whether Silverwood can stay on as coach after a series of questionable selection decisions during the Ashes.

However, no announcements have yet been made regarding the future of Silverwood or England batting coach Graham Thorpe.

"I'd like to thank everyone for the support they've given me, particularly all the staff and the players, as well as the board for giving me this opportunity," said Giles in Wednesday's statement.

"The past couple of years have been incredibly challenging and I'm proud of what we've been able to deliver in the toughest of circumstances. This has undoubtedly protected the future of the game in England and Wales."

He went on to add: "I wish all our players and staff great success for the future.

"I'm now looking forward to spending some time with my family before looking at the next challenge."

Harrison, meanwhile, thanked Giles by saying: "He's highly respected throughout the game and has made a huge contribution to the ECB and England men's cricket."