George Dobell in St Kitts
Mark Ramprakash has been axed from England’s coaching set-up in the build-up to this summer’s Ashes, after England’s 2-1 Test series defeat against West Indies.
Ramprakash, who was out of contract in October, has been one of the ECB’s two lead batting coaches since 2014 and, latterly, has had responsibility for the Test side. That role has now effectively ended six months early.
“I’ve just been informed that I will not be involved in the Ashes series,” Ramprakash announced via his Twitter feed. “It’s been a huge privilege to support the team over the last 5 years. I’d like to wish all the staff & players the very best of luck for the future.”
While the England camp would not confirm his replacement, it is likely that Graham Thorpe – the ECB’s lead batting coach – will take on the added responsibility. In recent times, Thorpe has toured with England’s white-ball side but he has let it be known that he is prepared to tour more often and would like to be considered for the head coach role once Trevor Bayliss leaves after the Ashes.
The news of Ramprakash’s departure is not unexpected. England’s batting has remained fragile and prone to collapse and, while Ramprakash has spent many hours in the nets hurling balls at batsmen with the dog-stick, there has been limited evidence of improvement.
He may, however, be somewhat unfortunate. With the emphasis at England level largely on building confidence and batting with freedom, Ramprakash may feel he has been prevented from making the technical interventions with players he would have liked.
The news continues the restructuring of the coaching staff since the appointment of Ashley Giles as managing director of England’s men’s cricket and perhaps underlines how ruthless Giles will be when he feels it necessary.
Paul Farbrace leaves his role as assistant coach at the conclusion of the Caribbean tour on Sunday – he had hoped, in an ideal world, to stay on until the end of the World Cup – with Giles announcing that Bayliss will be supported by three coaches – Paul Collingwood, Chris Silverwood and Graham Thorpe – until the end of that tournament. It is likely that structure will continue into the Ashes and once the new head coach is appointed.