If Justin Langer, an 11/4 shot with Paddy Power, would take the full-time England coaching role, give it him!
What a job he has done with Australia.
Think back four years and they were at rock bottom just like England are now, albeit in a very different sense given the ball-tampering, sandpaper scandal involving Cam Bancroft, captain Steve Smith and David Warner.
Darren Lehmann resigned as coach and in came Langer, the type of character you hated if he was against you and you loved if he was with you.
If you really want an in-depth insight into his character, listen to his episode on Aussie commentator Mark Howard’s Howie Games podcast, it is simply an outstanding listen.
I digress. Langer’s departure from the Australian job seems in no small part to the fact he’s rubbed a few folk up the wrong way, chiefly players.
Well, that’s what England need right now. No tummy tickling, they need a rocket or two in order to lift the fog of below par performances.
Maybe Langer won’t take a job yesterday given to Paul Collingwood on an interim basis for next month’s three-match Test series in the West Indies. Incidentally, Collingwood is PaddyPower’s 4/7 favourite to take the job full-time.
Langer is a coach with success in T20 cricket in the past with Perth Scorchers, his next move could be into the short-form franchise world.
The Hundred this summer with the Northern Superchargers? Ironically, they are searching for a replacement for Lehmann following his resignation.
The Indian Premier League? Maybe not the forthcoming campaign due to begin in April, but the next one in 2023 could work after some family time in Perth.
Talking of the IPL, it’s a big weekend for that competition.
They are holding a mega auction where the majority of the cricketing world’s star names go under the hammer. Two news teams from Ahmedabad and Lucknow will be bidding.
It is a two-day televised event which, in truth, drags. If only they could somehow get Del Boy and Rodney involved. 6.2 million quid!! You can just imagine Liam Livingstone and Jonny Bairstow sat in a yellow three wheeler, ‘Well, Liam, we’ve had worse days’.
The outcome is certainly interesting, however.
With Jos Buttler already retained by Rajasthan Royals, Ben Stokes opting to stay at home this year and Jofra Archer still injured, I wouldn’t mind betting that Lancashire all-rounder Livingstone is the most sought after English player. Bairstow could certainly rival him.
It is by no means without its critics. Those who believe it has been of detriment to England’s Test teams are chief among them. However, as a spectacle, it takes some beating.
The best v the best day after day for around two months.
Just going back to the England coaching job, vacated last week by Chris Silverwood, for a second.
Perhaps the only other coach I would prefer over Langer at present would be his former international captain Ricky Ponting, who is 5/1 with PaddyPower to take on the role.
Every time I listen to him in his punditry role, he comes across so well, and you hardly ever hear a bad word said about him by players. The insertion of the word hardly may even be doing him a disservice.
Without silverware, Ponting has done a decent job as coach of Delhi Capitals over the last few years.
Whether he would want to step away from what seems to be an ideal work-life balance at present is the million dollar question.
My England’s women came up short in their Ashes series, which concluded last night with an ODI defeat in Melbourne, leaving the final score at 12-4.
England actually played some pretty decent cricket at stages, certainly better than the men, and maybe 12-4 was a harsh scoreline.
The first T20 in Adelaide, the Test at Canberra and in the early stages of the first one-day game. But, unfortunately, they were just found wanting in the key moments.
But Heather Knight and co head immediately to New Zealand as defending 50-over World Cup champions.
Australia are overwhelming Evens favourites with Paddy Power for a tournament which starts next month, but England should be there and thereabouts. Get to the semi-finals and anything can happen from there. England are 7/2 with Paddy Power.