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David Lloyd
Cricket Expert & Columnist

Bumble's Blog: England must play 'no fear' cricket in post-Kevin Pietersen era

Vaughan could instill that in the squad making him the standout candidate for team director...

Kevin Pietersen: as a batsman he'd get you on the edge of your seat

Kevin Pietersen: as a batsman he'd get you on the edge of your seat

Kevin Pietersen was the best England batsman I've ever seen but there's a more pressing issue to address right now than the backlash to the end of his career - who is picking the team?

Reading all of the flowery statements yesterday I was amazed to find out that England are going to take a T20 squad to the West Indies, a tour that includes three one-day internationals. That just doesn't add up.

England are obviously all over the place and in total disarray; Geoff Miller has gone and Andy Flower has resigned so only two selectors remain, as far as I can see: James Whitaker and Ashley Giles.

They need to appoint new selectors and quickly. I don't know who is in the frame but let me suggest a few names, starting with Peter Willey, who has been in the game a lifetime. He's a well-respected, no-nonsense umpire who has played and umpired at the highest level.

For all I know he may not be interested in the job because he's still umpiring but he's at the latter stages of his career as an umpire. Geoff Cook is another man who has spent a lifetime in cricket, guiding Durham to County Championships. I assume John Emburey would be in the shake-up too.

I'm waiting to hear what's going on...


Stewart praises Pietersen character

As for Pietersen, I can only go on my own dealings with him. As a batsman he'd get you on the edge of your seat and he could frequently change a game. He appears to have a good lifestyle, he's always very polite and he works hard.

Lots of people are having their two-penneth about what might be happening behind the scenes but the truth is we don't know the whole story yet. We'll have to wait for the book and I'm sure it will be a great read!

Meanwhile, I'm absolutely staggered - if what I read is right - that Flower's new role, if he accepts, will be to identify future leaders. Well, I would say that's the managing director's job.

They've got to offer Flower something because he's under contract and otherwise they'd have to pay him off, which I assume would cost a lot of money. I don't know too much about Employment Law but I'd say that the same applies to Pietersen.

Mind you, I'm sure Pietersen will cash in massively in the IPL so financially he won't be too badly off.


I've had to adjust my list of candidates for the coaching job after Gary Kirsten effectively ruled himself out but Tom Moody, Graham Ford, Ashley and Paul Collingwood are still on my list.

Willis - The fresh start England needed

I'd love to know if the decision-makers think it's absolutely necessary for the director of cricket to have their Level 4 coaching badges because if it's not, I'd also add Michael Vaughan, Andrew Strauss and Nasser Hussain to my list.

It's a debate that often comes up in football and my club, Accrington Stanley, has just been fined £20,000 because our manager James Beattie doesn't have the right badge.

The calibre of person that you want, who fits the bill, is the Darren Lehmann type of coach; you've got to love and enjoy the game, and you've got to work hard at it and have fun within the game.

I know Darren really well and he enjoys life, he works hard and I'll absolutely guarantee that once he's done all of the preparation he'll say to his players 'I'm sitting here watching you for seven hours - so entertain me'.

I think that's unbelievably important because what he's doing is speaking for the thousands and thousands of fans who are watching.

No fear

Hussain: It's a bold move

I'm very friendly with Michael Vaughan and we are of exactly the same opinion that England need to identify first and foremost the brand of cricket that they want to play.

Not many years ago under Vaughan, England played 'no fear' cricket. If you want to know what that means just take a look at the 2005 Ashes series.

I think both Vaughan and Hussain would demand that approach if they were team director; they both have all sorts of experiences to draw on as a captain and they have rock-solid media backgrounds.

But I would be staggered if any of that calibre of person could be dragged away from the media. The exception might be Strauss because he was thinking about the ECB Managing Director's role.

He would be a good fit but would he instil the brand of cricket that is required? I'm not sure.

Out of all of the names that I've mentioned, the absolute standout candidate for me is Vaughan but I think he's quite happy with what he's doing.


Pietersen dropped

The first Test against Sri Lanka is just over four months away and for me there are six players nailed on to play - Cook, Bell, Root, Stokes, Broad, Anderson - which means there are five spots available.

Plenty of people piled into me on Twitter for including Root but he is an outstanding young cricketer who will only benefit from his experiences during the winter.

If you want to know what I mean by that then have a look at how far Ian Bell has come since the 2005 Ashes when he averaged 17. In that series he found out what tough Test cricket is all about, particularly when he was put under the cosh by Shane Warne.

Root will benefit in exactly the same way as Bell and blossom into a wonderful Test match cricketer. If you can come through that sort of experience, be it against Warne or Mitchell Johnson, everything else becomes far easier.

Two final thoughts. Managing director Paul Downton has spent a lifetime in the City and I would expect him to speak to independent people who have been around the game a lifetime about the best way to take England cricket forward. I wonder if he does?

I'd love to be a fly on the wall in Giles Clarke's kitchen right now. I imagine there's a lot of harrumphing going on...