London: Ed Smith is expected to be named as England’s new national selector by the England and Wales Cricket Board, with former coach Andy Flower also understood to be in contention.
The former England batsman, who has been working as a pundit since retiring in 2008, is the front-runner for the role after previous incumbent James Whitaker stepped down last month. Smith and Flower have both been interviewed for the post along with former England players Mike Selvey and Derek Pringle, with the ECB set to confirm their appointment later this week.
The move comes as part of a major shake-up of England’s selection process, instigated by Andrew Strauss, the director of England cricket, which will also see Angus Fraser and Mick Newell — directors of cricket at Middlesex and Nottinghamshire respectively — leave their positions on the three-man panel. Instead, a new independent selector will appointed by the new national selector, with head coach Trevor Bayliss remaining on the panel.
Ashley Giles turned down an approach to succeed Whitaker earlier this month while Lions head coach Flower, who coached England between 2009 and 2014 before becoming the ECB’s technical director of elite coaching, retains a strong relationship with Strauss but is not expected to be given the role.
Meanwhile, Australia have rejected speculation linking Justin Langer with the vacant head coach role, insisting an appointment has yet to be decided.
Reports on Wednesday suggested Langer was close to being named the successor to Darren Lehmann, who stood down from the post in the wake of the ball-tampering scandal in South Africa last month.
A Cricket Australia spokesperson said: “The process to be undertaken for the appointment of a new Australian men’s head coach will be discussed and agreed at the CA board meeting this Friday.
“No appointment has been made, and nor will any candidate be put to the board for ratification on Friday.
“We expect to have a clearer understanding of the approach and appointment timelines following this meeting.”
Langer, a former international teammate of Lehmann, is among the front-runners for the position having enjoyed success with Western Australia and Perth Scorchers during his coaching career.