Jason Gillespie has confirmed he is out of the running to be England’s new coach - with reports claiming Trevor Bayliss is instead the “preferred candidate”.
England are understood to have made an offer to their new front-runner, after it emerged in Australia that Bayliss had leapfrogged his compatriot Gillespie.
The consensus, for the past week, was that the England and Wales Cricket Board would recruit former Australia fast bowler Gillespie in time for this summer’s Ashes.
But - following revelations on Monday morning that former Sri Lanka coach Bayliss is heading the queue instead - Yorkshire coach Gillespie announced he has been brought up to speed by new ECB director Andrew Strauss.
“I’ve spoken to Andrew Strauss and I’m not that preferred candidate, so that’s their call,” said Gillespie, whose appointment was being treated as a formality by many pundits in recent days.
“I’d hardly say (I’m) disappointed,” he added on Sky Sports News.
“(But) I think it would have been a good job to have, no question.
“There’s exciting times ahead for English cricket and it would have been a great challenge, but it’s not to be.
“I’ve got a wonderful job with Yorkshire and the Adelaide Strikers, and I’m really looking forward to continuing that work.”
Fifty-two-year-old Bayliss is less well-known than Gillespie but has a fine coaching pedigree - having led New South Wales to two Sheffield Shield titles, helped Sri Lanka to the 2011 World Cup final and won the Indian Premier League with Kolkata Knight Riders.
He is also a former colleague of current England caretaker coach Paul Farbrace, the pair having joined forces with Sri Lanka.
There has been no official comment as yet from the ECB. But it is thought the governing body is in detailed and advanced discussion with the contender who has emerged ahead of the rest after initial consideration.
Former England captain Michael Vaughan, speaking on BBC’s Test Match Special, hinted his instinct would have been to go with Gillespie.
He said: “Trevor Bayliss is a coach I know England were looking at last year, after Andy Flower lost his position.
“He has a good track record, but it would be a big surprise.
“You look at Jason Gillespie’s pedigree - he’s in our system and took Yorkshire to the title.
“He was a part of one of the greatest teams in Australia.
“Would Trevor Bayliss be a good coach for England? His pedigree says he would.”
Shane Warne believes Bayliss would do a fine job for England, if as seems likely, he was appointed.
The former Australia leg-spinner told Sky Sports: “I know him well.
“I played a bit of cricket against him, with him. He’s done a wonderful job, on all the reports, with the teams he’s coached - whether it be Sri Lanka, the Kolkata Knight Riders in IPL, New South Wales, Big Bash.
“Everyone’s a big fan of Trevor Bayliss. He played cricket in the right way.”
Warne does expects Bayliss’ style to be slightly less high-profile than others’.
He added: “I think he’s more of a ‘background’ sort of coach, a bit like the New Zealand camp.
“He’s not front and square all the time, (but) he’s not afraid to give a few rockets when they’re needed.
“He’s fair, he’s harsh - and he creates a pretty good environment.
“He’s a good man, Trevor Bayliss, a really good man.”