Former Northants skipper Hayden says coaches would be ‘crazy’ to apply for England top job

Former Northants captain Matthew Hayden
Former Northants captain Matthew Hayden
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Former Northants captain Matthew Hayden says anybody applying to be head coach of the England cricket team would be ‘crazy’.

Hayden’s ex-Australian team-mates Jason Gillespie and Justin Langer are the current favourites to replace Peter Moores, who was sacked on Saturday.

England are looking for a new coach to take over for the series against Hayden’s native Australia in July, with Paul Farbrace in temporary charge for this month’s Test series against New Zealand.

It was confirmed this week that Moores’ successor will not be allowed to pick batsman Kevin Pietersen, with new director of cricket Andrew Strauss stating the player will not be allowed to be selected due “massive trust issues” with the England & Wales Cricket Board.

Speaking BBC Radio 4’s Today programme, Hayden said: “You’d be crazy to apply for the England coach’s role because with a director, you are the man the establishment is going to kick.

“I think England are entering into a very dangerous space.

“They have been in a perilous position for the last six months and they are going into very deep times now with an absolutely on-fire New Zealand team and a really revengeful and very in form Australian team too.

“There are going to be some really tough times ahead for England and they need to sort their back of office out quickly, otherwise we are going to see England fall well behind in those Test rankings.”

Hayden, who skippered Northants in the summers of 1999 and 2000, believes England are making a mistake in not picking Pietersen, saying he is a player the Australians hugely respect.

“Kevin Pietersen probably couldn’t be a greater foe to Australian cricket and to the Australian cricket team,” said Hayden.

“There have been very few players in the last one or two generations that have had the ability to entertain and direct their attention towards positive cricket like Kevin Pietersen has.

“He was in line with Andrew Flintoff as one of the extremely dominant players that was able to overturn the great Australian team of that 2000 era.”