Former England captain Nasser Hussain believes one cannot be too critical of a ‘good bloke’ like Ashley Giles trying to take care of the team in a Covid-19 pandemic situation. On Wednesday, the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) announced the departure of Giles, a former England left-arm spinner, as the managing director of the men’s cricket team in the aftermath of 4-0 thrashing at the Ashes.
“I feel disappointed for Ashley because he is a top, top bloke, I can tell you that. I captained him, I worked with him. He was almost in tears in a BBC interview he did because he looked after his players. In Covid, Ashley was guilty of one thing and that’s looking after his players, so I can’t be too critical of a good bloke trying to look after his staff,” said Hussain to Sky Sports News.
Hussain also felt sympathetic towards under-pressure head coach Chris Silverwood apart from Giles in a two-year phase where England have spent a lot of time all over the world playing in bio-bubbles. “I have a lot of sympathy for both Silverwood and Giles, because in the last couple of years England have played more Test cricket than anybody else and more Test cricket away from home in a pandemic.”
“Their players have been in bubbles and travelling the world and it’s been incredibly difficult to get 11 players switched on and playing good quality cricket all around the world. Giles has tried to look after his players, there’s been a lot of rest and rotation.”
Hussain opined the sacking of Giles, who succeeded Sir Andrew Strauss as England’s managing director of men’s cricket towards the end of 2018, was looming especially after losing the Ashes 4-0.
“England have not always played their best side in Test cricket so in trying to look after his players, results have gone in the wrong direction and I’m afraid as director of cricket or coach or captain you’re only judged on results and in Test-match cricket England sit bottom of the World Test Championship table.”
“I think when you lose an Ashes series 4-0, and the way they have played in Test-match cricket over the last year or so, it was always going to be on the cards that there was going to be upheaval in the management. England were hardly in a session in that Ashes Test series and got a lot of key decisions wrong.”
Hussain pointed out Giles made an error by restructuring the selection committee, where Silverwood was also given the chief selector duties as Ed Smith was sacked from the post of national selector.
“I think mistakes were made off the field. Giles made mistakes. The mistake really for Ashley was to get rid of Smith as the national selector and just put everything on Silverwood, all selection decisions, everything.”
“That meant there was no outside noise at all coming in just questioning the odd decision here and there. It just looked as if they needed somebody from the outside knocking on the door and questioning them.”