England coach Paul Farbrace to become sport director at Warwickshire
Last Updated: 17/02/19 10:12pm
England assistant coach Paul Farbrace is to leave his post and join Warwickshire as sport director at the end of the ongoing tour of the Caribbean.
Farbrace has been an influential backroom figure with the national side over the past five years and was set to play a major role in the forthcoming World Cup and Ashes double header on home soil.
But, with head coach Trevor Bayliss planning to step down when his contract expires in December, Farbrace faced an uncertain future.
He will now take the role of sport director at Edgbaston, the post vacated by Ashley Giles when he became managing director of the England men's team in December.
Farbrace revealed Warwickshire were prepared to let him remain in post until the end of England's World Cup campaign but Giles made the decision to cut ties swiftly, in a bid to reduce disruption.
"It's a huge wrench," said an emotional Farbrace on Saturday. "It was definitely the hardest thing I've ever had to do.
"I found it hard telling one or two people yesterday and I couldn't tell too many this morning. I had to send a WhatsApp around the players and management.
"Even now just thinking about it, it's tough, because I've had the opportunity to do something I never dreamed I would come close to doing.
"I wasn't good enough to play international cricket, I only played a little bit of county cricket. I thought the chance to work with England would never come.
"All the way through the last couple of months I've thought 'I really hope I get the job' but, at the same time, walking away from this set-up is really difficult. It's not something I've done lightly."
Farbrace thinks England can be successful in what will be a huge year for the team and said: "I have been fortunate to taste some genuine success and be part of the development of some excellent players, who have the world at their feet this summer.
"I wish them every success. I believe they have the right attributes to create history by lifting the World Cup in July and winning the Ashes that follows it.
"There is never a great time to leave an international set-up and, despite what will be a fantastic summer for English cricket, the opportunity to shape the future of one of the game's biggest counties was too much to resist.
"It would have been tough for me to have turned down the opportunity, once Warwickshire showed an interest in me."
Farbrace, a former Kent and Middlesex wicketkeeper, joined the England set-up under Peter Moores in 2014 and took over as interim coach after the latter's sacking the following year.
He earned praise for the attacking cricket he encouraged during the visit of New Zealand and was credited with kick-starting the team's huge improvement in one-day cricket, which has continued in earnest during his partnership with Bayliss.
Giles said: "I would like to thank Paul for all his efforts over the last five years as a key figure in England's success across the red and white ball formats.
"Paul was integral, alongside (former director of England cricket) Andrew Strauss, Trevor Bayliss and Eoin Morgan, in transforming our white-ball strategy, which has seen us become the best team in the world, leading into a World Cup year.
"I will now start the process to find a successor and work closely with our existing set-up to ensure we have everything in place ahead of a busy summer of international cricket."