The England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) has reappointed Peter Moores as England head coach five years after he was dismissed from his first spell in charge of the team.
Eurosport confirmed the announcement on Saturday, with Moores returning to the position he lost in January 2009:
OFFICIAL: ECB appoint Peter Moores as England cricket head coach for the second time.— Eurosport.com EN (@EurosportCom_EN) April 19, 2014
The ECB released a statement via its official website detailing Moores' reappointment, in which managing director of England Cricket Paul Downton says:
Peter has a great reputation around the world as an outstanding coach and he will return to the role as England head coach with a great deal more experience and understanding of the challenges that the role presents.
There is no doubt that he is the leading English coach of his generation and I believe that this is his time. [...] I was hugely impressed by his vision for the future of the England team and I am looking forward to working with him in the years to come. [...] It was a really difficult decision to make as we had an outstanding field but the panel were unanimous in the choice of Peter and I know that support will be echoed around the counties.
That dismissal was in part influenced by a clash of interests between Moores and the ever-controversial Kevin Pietersen, whose days as an England star are now over, per BBC Sport.
The Telegraph's Paul Hayward suggests that Moores' stance against Pietersen's international involvement has lent a hand in his appointment, while Piers Morgan appears to disagree with the decision based on the tactician's history in the position:
Presumably Peter Moores was selected as England cricket coach for being the most trenchantly anti-Pietersen.— Paul Hayward (@_PaulHayward) April 18, 2014
Peter Moores may have been picked on merit. But the ECB have also now formed their anti-Pietersen triumvirate of coach, captain and chairman— Paul Hayward (@_PaulHayward) April 19, 2014
Moores replaces Andy Flower as head coach two-and-a-half months after the latter stepped down from the role, per Sky Sports, with Sri Lanka coach Paul Farbrace named as his assistant.
Pietersen himself has tweeted in reaction to the decision to reappoint Moores, sending out an ambiguous message regarding "second chances" that could apply to both him and the coach:
Everyone deserves a 2nd chance! 😂😂😂😂😂😂😃😃😃😃😂😂😂😂— Kevin Pietersen (@KP24) April 19, 2014
Despite Morgan's doubts mentioned above, BBC Sport quotes correspondent Jonathan Agnew as stating the experience Moores holds will benefit the side, regardless of his lack of success in the hotseat:
Things are so delicate around the England camp at the moment. At least Peter Moores knows how the system works. He hasn't played international cricket himself and that was an issue as far as Kevin Pietersen was concerned, that credibility of never having been out there and played Test cricket or one-day international cricket himself.
But Pietersen isn't there any more and it's a very different England set-up now - very much on the back foot, new players coming in and having to really work very hard indeed to get over what has happened this winter. And so the environment, one thinks, will be one that Peter Moores will enjoy very much.
Another drastic change in these responsibilities will see Moores take charge of all three formats following the ECB's decision to unite those duties.
This change in leadership was largely influenced by the 5-0 Ashes whitewash defeat that England suffered at the start of the year, Australia sealing their triumph with aplomb in early January.
The BBC's Tom Fordyce quotes Pietersen on his view of Moores as coach of the national team:
KP on new England coach Peter Moores' previous spell: "The team wasn't happy, things weren't right, and England cricket was going nowhere."— tomfordyce (@tomfordyce) April 18, 2014
Moores will now look to ignite a new era of England success after a fruitful spell as head coach of Lancashire, a side he led to the 2011 County Championship title.
Ashley Giles, current head coach of the one-day team, was among those candidates hoping to beat Moores to the position, along with Nottinghamshire director Mick Newell, former Sri Lanka coach Trevor Bayliss and Sussex coach Mark Robinson.
However, the ECB has ultimately decided to give Moores another crack of the whip, presumably of the understandings that their choice as Flower's successor has learned from previous mistakes.
Many an England fan will certainly be hoping that is the case as they look to move past the horrible disappointment of their recent Ashes demise, with attention now fixed on what the future holds.