LONDON: Ashley Giles has been appointed as the new director of cricket and head coach at Lancashire, the English county announced Wednesday.
Former England limited overs coach and Ashes-winning spinner Giles had been without a full-time position since missing out to former Lancashire boss Peter Moores when the England and Wales Cricket Board combined his old post with that of Test coach six months ago.
Giles succeeds Lancashire stalwart Mike Watkinson, who stepped down from his position as the Old Trafford club's cricket director following the team's relegation from the First Division of the County Championship. "Lancashire County Cricket Club is delighted to announce the appointment of Ashley Giles as its Cricket Director and Head Coach," said a club statement.
Giles added: "Lancashire is a massive club with a rich pedigree and history, and I am thrilled by the prospect of coaching them. "It is our intention to return to Division One -- but our main aim is create something both successful and sustainable, which a club with such an incredible history deserves," the 41-year-old added. When Moores was brought back by the ECB for a second spell with England, Lancashire asked veteran captain Glen Chapple to become their player/coach.
Wednesday's media conference saw Lancashire confirm that 40-year-old paceman Chapple, who has taken 975 first-class wickets, would be standing down as captain but continuing in a coaching capacity, with his playing future still to be decided. "It was a big ask this summer for Glen to do three jobs. He can't do captaincy as well so that role is open," said Giles.
Meanwhile Chapple said: "Playing on is still an option for me. A big part of me has wanted to move towards coaching. "If I am needed to play then I will still enjoy doing it," added Chapple, who had been captain since 2009 and led Lancashire to the County Championship title in 2011.
Giles had a successful period coaching Warwickshire, after retiring as a player with the Midlands county, and guided the Edgbaston-side to the Championship title in 2012. Lancashire chairman Michael Cairns said: "Ashley Giles is a highly respected and regarded coach with a track record of success in the county game, and has a tremendous amount of international experience garnered through a playing and coaching career. "He is an exceptional candidate for a county like Lancashire, and we are delighted to have secured his services."