Paul Farbrace has confirmed he would like to be considered for the role of England coach when Trevor Bayliss’s contract expires in just over a year.
Farbrace, the England assistant coach, has taken charge of the England side on an interim basis for the four IT20 matches against Australia and India over the next couple of weeks. And while he played down the suggestion the games provide an opportunity for him to demonstrate his value, or gain any further experience in the role, he answered “of course” when asked whether he would be interested in succeeding Bayliss after September 2019.
“If, next September, Andrew Strauss said ‘we want to offer you the job as coach’ it would be so difficult to say no to that, it really would,” Farbrace said. “Even if I was lucky enough to be considered for the role, then that would be a great position to be in.
“I count myself very fortunate even to be in this position, as an assistant coach to the England team. I wasn’t good enough to get anywhere near it as a player, so to be involved as a coach is fantastic.”
Having spent much of the last decade living out of a suitcase – Farbrace has been with the England side since 2014 and before that had two spells with Sri Lanka – he is sympathetic to the idea of splitting the coaching role into two. Or, as he sees it, perhaps even three.
“Maybe, the way the game is going, it does make sense to go the way of split coaching,” Farbrace said. “Trevor did five months solid in the winter – that’s a lot to ask of anyone – and I enjoyed the little break I had.
“It may be that, when we get to September 2019, having one coach – me or somebody else – they may want to keep the job together if possible. Even the idea of two assistants, and keeping the energy that way, that may be another way to go. That’s not my call. Whatever it was I’d be excited to be in with a chance.
“I don’t have a preference for the Test or limited-overs role. To be honest, I’d take anything. The Test team obviously would be an exciting challenge because there’s more work to do than with the one-day side. But a lot will depend on who’s in the frame. It may be that there is a strong candidate that is happy to do everything. That’s for Straussy to decide and others to worry about.”
Farbrace has been in demand for a variety of coaching jobs in recent times. As well as having been linked with a couple of international roles – notably Bangladesh – several of England’s first-class counties have made approaches for him. It does now seem, however, that the England head coach role would be his preferred option.
“I don’t think the next 10 days are necessarily about me at all really,” Farbrace continued. “I’ve been fortunate enough to be an acting head coach a couple of times before, thoroughly enjoyed it, and my goal is to make sure that nothing really changes.
“I genuinely mean it that I’m thrilled to be asked to look after the squad. Same as in the West Indies and same as after Peter Moores left and before Trevor came. It’s just great to do.
“As a coach you are continually learning and trying to get better. I’ve made some horrendous mistakes in the past. In the two years I was head coach at Kent I had a disaster. And that’s the only thing you can do as a coach, keep learning and improving.
“I’m not saying this to make it easier if I don’t get the job. If come next September, I have a chance that would be fantastic and if I ended up being offered the position that would be great.”