Collingwood eager for England coaching shot

BRENDON EGAN
Last updated 05:00 03/02/2014

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Paul Collingwood would love the chance to be involved in the England cricket coaching setup in the future, but is unsure about his immediate availability.

England are searching for a new coach after Andy Flower resigned on Saturday following a disastrous Ashes, where they were swept 5-nil by Australia. They also lost the one-day international and Twenty20 series under Ashley Giles.

Former England captain Michael Vaughan wrote in The Telegraph his preferred option to take over would be South African Gary Kirsten, who has enjoyed strong success with his native Proteas and the Indian side. Vaughan would surround Kirsten with the best English cricket brains like Collingwood and former national team-mates Giles and Graham Thorpe.

Collingwood, co-coached Scotland to the Cricket World Cup qualifying title in Lincoln on Saturday and a spot in next year's tournament.

His short-term two month contract with the Scots ended after the final and he will now prepare for the upcoming county season with Durham, where he has a year left on his playing contract.

Collingwood, who played 68 tests and 197 ODIs for England between 2001 and 2011, was flattered by Vaughan's praise. He was keen on a possible coaching role with England, but acknowledged timing could prove difficult.

"I've got a year left on my [Durham] contract and I'll be seeing that out with them and I'll see what happens after the season.

"Certainly I've enjoyed the coaching side of things [with Scotland] and if I can help England in any way in the future, I'm sure I'll be more than willing to do it."

Former New Zealand skipper and Cantabrian Stephen Fleming has emerged as an early favourite for the job, according to British bookmakers. Other contenders could include Australia's Tom Moody, former South African and Sri Lankan coach, Graham Ford, Dav Whatmore and Mickey Arthur.

England's confidence had been severely dented by the Australians, but Collingwood said there were too many classy players for them not to bounce back and be a threat in next year's ODI World Cup.

"English cricket is still in a good place. A lot of people find that hard to believe after the [summer] they've had, but they've got a lot of good men involved in that team and I think they'll come out of this a lot stronger."

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- © Fairfax NZ News

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