Andrew Strauss believes new England head coach Chris Silverwood will act as an inspiration for young coaches in county cricket, but warned he will face a challenging winter.
The former England captain and director of cricket was speaking while discussing his plans for the Ruth Strauss Foundation, which was set up in memory of his late wife to fund research into rare forms of lung cancer and to support patients and families affected by the cancer.
Silverwood stepped up from his fast bowling coach role to replace Trevor Bayliss last month and is currently presiding over his first assignment; the tour of New Zealand.
A big part of the 44-year-old’s remit will be to get the Test team back on track and consistent again while at the same time ensuring they remain a force in white-ball cricket after the maiden 50-over World Cup win in July.
Having cut his teeth at Essex and helped them surprisingly win the County Championship in 2017, Strauss feels Silverwood has “done everything right” and should inspire other domestic coaches.
“Chris started as bowling coach, then went to head coach and took a bit of a risk going into the international side, but he’s got what he deserves,” Strauss told PA news agency.
“He is ambitious, very hard working and wants to make a difference to English cricket. It’s a great opportunity for him to grab hold of that team with both hands.
“The bigger picture is around young, ambitious coaches feeling their is a pathway through to becoming an England coach. I think that’s an important message to send out there.”
Silverwood is currently in the middle of a five-game T20 series in New Zealand before two Test matches take place at the end of the month.
England will then head to South Africa for a long tour between December and February which contains four Tests, three 50-over games and three T20s.
A trip to Sri Lanka for two Tests wraps up a demanding few months for the new head coach before focus will shift to the home fixtures in the summer and crucially the T20 World Cup in Australia next October.
“We have a hard, long winter ahead of us and it’s a significant challenge and the challenges will keep coming for Chris over time,” Strauss added.
“Global events you are looking to win. There is one global event every year over the next cycle so those are obvious priorities.
“For the Test team, it is about learning to win away from home because we haven’t been good at that generally, although last winter we did well in Sri Lanka.
“They have three Test tours this winter – New Zealand, South Africa and Sri Lanka – so those are three big challenges.”
What will help Silverwood in the shorter format of the game is the fact Eoin Morgan decided to remain as captain of the 50-over and T20 team.
“Obviously the last T20 World Cup (in 2016) we missed out in the final. We were six good balls away from winning it. All those players involved will be very motivated to have a better result next time,” Strauss said.
“I think it’s the right thing for Eoin to do as long as he is motivated and driven and keen to push the team on which I’m sure he will be.
“The challenge for the white-ball team is you have won the World Cup, you are on top of the world and have metaphorically climbed Everest and now where do you go next? The challenge for those guys going forward is to try and take the game to a new level again.”
Strauss is keen to continue raising money for the Ruth Strauss Foundation.
On August 15, Lord’s turned red in honour of Ruth, who died in December, and raised over £550,000 on day two of the second Ashes Test.
The hope is the Red4Ruth day can take place annually, but events are occurring throughout the year with a dinner at Lord’s on Wednesday and a golf day planned for spring.
Strauss thanked Virgin Money Giving for their support and added: “Ruth died of a rare form of lung cancer which is contracted by people who never smoked and I didn’t know you could get lung cancer if you hadn’t been smoking, so it’s a real education thing for me.
“Also the professional help we had, myself and the boys, to contend with and understand and deal with this idea that Ruth had a terminal diagnosis and was going to die.
“For us to offer that to other people is incredibly motivating for me because it makes such a difference.
In September, the @Breathe4Life completed a 1,479 mile trip from Land’s End to John O’Groats.
Andrew was one of the 60 cyclists that joined the team on their journey across 35 counties!
— Ruth Strauss Foundation (@RuthStraussFdn) October 31, 2019
“That is what the Foundation is trying to do. To raise awareness and research into these rare forms of lung cancer and to offer professional support for the patient and their families.
“We have been through a tough time, but thousands of other people in the country are going through exactly the same.
“If the foundation can make their experience a little bit easier and better, then I know Ruth would think that is the right thing to do.”
To find out more, or donate, please visit www.ruthstraussfoundation.com