Ashes: Trevor Bayliss to step down as England coach in 2019

By Stephan ShemiltBBC Sport in Sydney
Why is England coach Trevor Bayliss stepping down?

Trevor Bayliss will step down as England coach when his contract expires at the end of the 2019 Ashes.

The 55-year-old, who was appointed in 2015, has just seen his side beaten 4-0 in Australia, but told England director of cricket Andrew Strauss of his plans a year ago.

"I'm contracted to September 2019 and that will see me out," the Australian told BBC Sport.

"I've always felt that it's time for a change around that four-year mark."

He added: "A new voice and a different approach reinvigorates things."

Bayliss led England to a home Ashes triumph in his first summer in charge and later presided over a Test series win in South Africa and a run to the final of the 2016 World Twenty20.

With the World Cup on home soil in 2019, England's steady progress in the 50-over game has been such that a semi-final defeat in the 2017 Champions Trophy was seen as a disappointment.

However, the team's recent Test results have been mixed.

In 38 matches under Bayliss, they have lost 18 and won 15. The tour of Australia extended their winless run in away Tests to 11 matches.

England's next assignment in Test cricket is two matches in New Zealand in March.

The squad for that trip will be announced on Wednesday at 22:00 GMT - 24 hours later than planned as captain Joe Root recovers from the severe dehydration he suffered during the final Ashes Test.

Australia coach Darren Lehmann will also leave his post after the 2019 Ashes in the UK.

In a wide-ranging interview with the BBC, Bayliss also said:

  • He can't see any "big changes" following the latest Ashes defeat in Australia.
  • Batsmen Mark Stoneman and James Vince deserve more chances in the Test side.
  • The off-field problems of the Ashes tour have made this tour one the toughest of his career.
  • The "penny has dropped" for the players about their off-field behaviour.
  • England may have to risk losing at home in order to improve away.
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'Stoneman and Vince showed potential'

Of the inexperienced members of England's batting line-up in Australia, Dawid Malan scored a maiden Test century and ended the series as England's leading runscorer.

Stoneman and Vince both made two half-centuries but ended with averages in the mid-20s. Stoneman did not pass 24 in his final four innings, while Vince was often dismissed in the same manner - an edge to the wicketkeeper or slips.

"The way Stoneman and Vince played, they do deserve a bit more of a chance," said Bayliss. "They were playing against one of the best attacks in the world in their home conditions and showed the potential they have.

"They are aware that it's about performance and scoring enough runs. If, over a period of time, that doesn't happen and you have to look for someone else, that is the way of the game."

As for the rest of the side that could line up for the first Test in Auckland, Bayliss does not expect it to be dissimilar from the one beaten by an innings in the final Ashes Test.

England are still awaiting news on Ben Stokes after the all-rounder was arrested for an altercation outside a Bristol nightclub in September.

Pace bowlers Craig Overton, Mark Wood, Chris Woakes and Toby Roland-Jones are all looking to return to fitness, while leg-spinner Mason Crane is set to travel after making his debut in Sydney.

Batsman Gary Ballance, who did not play a Test on the Ashes tour, could miss out, with players such as Liam Livingstone, Joe Clarke or Dan Lawrence potential candidates for a first senior tour.

"I can't see any big changes," said Bayliss. "We've known for a couple of years that we have been three or four performing players short of a very, very good team.

"Probably five or six positions in the squad will be discussed."

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'Off-field issues made it a challenge'

In Australia, England were not only hampered by the absence of Stokes but, in the early part of the tour, had to deal with several off-field issues.

Wicketkeeper Jonny Bairstow was accused of 'headbutting' Australia's Cameron Bancroft, while Lions batsman Ben Duckett poured a drink over senior bowler James Anderson. Both incidents occurred in the same Perth bar.

When news of Duckett's indiscretion emerged during a tour match in Perth, an irate Bayliss suggested some players would start paying with their place in the side if behaviour did not change.

He has since seen an improvement, but still believes the furore around the off-field problems created one of the most difficult tours of his career.

"Some of the off-field stuff at the start of the tour was as tough as I've experienced," said the former Sri Lanka coach.

"You could do without it, but I think the penny has finally dropped with the boys that we are in a different environment nowadays. Going forward I don't foresee any problems there.

"It certainly made it a challenge earlier in the tour, but you look back now and, apart from that and the result, it's been an enjoyable Ashes contest. Sometimes, even on the losing side, it's enjoyable to be involved in."

Australia celebrate winning the Ashes
Australia have lost only one home Ashes series since 1986-87

England's winless run away from home is part of a longer-term problem, with just one victorious series abroad since 2012.

In the same time period, they have been beaten only once in the UK.

In order to reverse their travelling fortunes, perhaps by nurturing a spinner or bowler of high pace, Bayliss says England might have to gamble with their home form.

"That could be a risk," he said. "If that was to occur and we're not as successful as we'd like to be because we're blooding some young players, we have to take that on the chin and hopefully everyone realises that we're heading in a certain direction.

"Hopefully if you have those guys around the squad, they force their way in. That would be the best scenario.

"One of things you get from new players in a squad is a youthful intensity that can up the interest of everyone.

"It might be, home or away, you chop and change a little bit. You might blood a young fast bowler somewhere like South Africa, or a young spinner in the subcontinent."


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