London: England great Geoffrey Boycott said he feared "everything will stay the same" were Andrew Strauss put in charge of reviving the country's cricket fortunes, as speculation continued about a role in the national set-up for former Australia paceman Jason Gillespie.
Former captain Strauss appears to be the front-runner to fill the new position of England director of cricket, a post created by the England and Wales Cricket Board last month following Paul Downton's sacking as managing director. Strauss's fellow ex-England skippers Michael Vaughan and Alec Stewart have also expressed an interest in the role.
But Vaughan appeared to rule himself out after being severely critical of the current set-up in a column for Monday's Daily Telegraph following England's defeat by the West Indies in the third Test in Barbados on Sunday. Boycott, briefly England captain but best-known as an obdurate opening batsman, said the 38-year-old Strauss -- who for several years was current skipper Alastair Cook's partner at the top of the order -- was too close to the present regime to make the major changes needed.
"We have a cautious captain (Alastair Cook) and a cautious coach (Peter Moores). If it is Strauss, he's the same," Boycott told BBC Radio's Test Match Special. "He likes Cook, so he's going to go with Cook and everything stays the same," added Boycott. "Nothing changes, they'll just go on with the same people. Andrew Strauss will come in, Cook's his mate and everything will go on just the same. Sad."
Incoming ECB chairman Colin Graves takes up his post having previously held a similar position at Yorkshire, where he installed Gillespie as coach. Last season Yorkshire, under Gillespie, won English cricket's first-class County Championship and talk that the one-time scourge of many an England top-order might replace Moores intensified when he turned down an approach from South Australia to become their coach.
Prior to the Test series in the Caribbean, Graves labelled the West Indies a "mediocre" side and warned their would be a review if England failed to win the three-match series. But West Indies, ranked eighth out of the world's 10 Test nations by the International Cricket Council, ended all square at 1-1 after a five-wicket win in Barbados, achieved with more than two days to spare, following England's slump to 123 all out in their second innings.
The England management came under fire for recalling Jonathan Trott, whose return to Test cricket from the "situational anxiety" that led to an early exit from the 2013/14 5-0 Ashes thrashing in Australia yielded three ducks, and for not playing leg-spinner Adil Rashid in any of the three Tests in the Caribbean. England's failure to win the series left many observers wondering how they would fare in the upcoming English season against the seemingly sterner challenges set to be posed by both New Zealand and Australia.
Among the doubters was Vaughan, who wrote in his Telegraph column: "England denied their problems and weaknesses for so long in one-day cricket and said it will come good on the night at the World Cup. "It did not, so let's get real about the Test team." Vaughan also queried Cook's captaincy, saying: "I have been concerned hearing Alastair Cook point to past successes. "What worked in 2009-2012 is irrelevant now, but if you keep playing attritional cricket you produce attritional characters who can't think any other way. "I actually don't blame the selectors. They do not have a massive say on the final XI. You have to look at the captain and coach."
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