ECB to Offer James Anderson, Stuart Broad Dual Role of Player-coach: Report

The England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) is reportedly devising a plan where England pace-bowling stalwarts James Anderson and Stuart Broad could be made player-coaches, even as the country’s cricket governing body looks to prune the backroom staff.

Anderson, 40, and Broad, 36, are the most experienced England bowlers and are the highest wicket-taking pacers in the world. Given their decades of experience, the ECB is exploring the possibility of giving the duo a new role, said a report in Daily Mail on Monday.

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The report said Test coach Brendon McCullum is looking at the long term and wants to utilise the expertise of the veteran bowlers to permanently replace the outgoing Jon Lewis.

“McCullum is known to want a streamlining of the support staff within the Test environment, and with Lewis returning to work within the ECB’s pathway system, it would mean a duo who have shared 997 Test wickets when playing together grooming their successors,” said the report.

Broad surpassed Australian legend Glenn McGrath’s tally of 563 Test wickets in the recently concluded Oval Test against South Africa and is currently on 566. He now trails his partner Anderson in the wickets column for pacers, who has 667 wickets to his name.

The report added Anderson and Broad could be seen in the dual role as early as on the two-Test tour of New Zealand in February, which is not part of the Future Tours Programme (FTP).

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With the World Test Championship (WTC) points not at stake, ECB may rotate Anderson and Broad, leaving one of them out in each of the Tests and assign them to oversee net practice.

The duo has been complimented by McCullum and skipper Ben Stokes for the manner in which they have gone about their job in the last seven Tests, with England winning six of them, and also passing on their knowledge to Ollie Robinson.

“Paul Collingwood, Marcus Trescothick and Jeetan Patel appear set to continue as assistants with the Test team, while Matthew Mott has recruited David Saker and Mike Hussey for the next two months of limited-overs cricket,” said the report.

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