Paul Farbrace has emerged as a target for Surrey © Getty Images
Surrey have been rebuffed in their approach to appoint Paul Farbrace, England’s assistant coach, as successor to Graham Ford*. Ford has agreed a second spell in charge of Sri Lanka but ESPNcricinfo understands that Farbrace has turned down the chance to join Surrey.
After the departure of Ford – a move that was flagged last summer – Surrey’s loss could have become England’s loss. Farbrace emerged as the top target to take over at Surrey and was contacted with a view to discussing the role. Instead, he has signed a new contract with the ECB.
Farbrace has been a key figure in the England revival. It was during his interim period in charge that the England limited-overs squad reinvented themselves after a wretched World Cup performance and, with his relaxed yet high-energy approach, he has played a huge role in improving the environment around the squad. Liked, trusted and respected by the players, Farbrace is the dominant figure in training sessions and has been credited with creating a dressing room environment that is relaxed but focused. His departure would have been a considerable loss.
But, like many of the England backroom staff, Farbrace has wearied of the relentless schedule that sees them spend more than 300 days each year in hotels. The offer may have come a little early – the England camp are quietly excited about the possibilities this side has of rising up the Test rankings and competing in global events such as the 2017 Champions Trophy and the 2019 World Cup – but the prospect of working at a large club with a group of highly talented young players and having the opportunity to spend far more of the year in one place would have been tempting. Surrey are also one of very few clubs who could exceed the salary offered by England.
Farbrace joined the England set-up in 2014, as assistant to Peter Moores, after briefly coaching Sri Lanka. His stock has continued to grow alongside Trevor Bayliss, England’s current head coach, and it is understood he was on Sri Lanka’s short list before the re-appointment of Ford.
With Farbrace declining Surrey’s interest, Graham Thorpe is among those likely to be targeted. Thorpe, a former Surrey player and currently the ECB’s lead batting coach, is another who has tired of touring. Though his current role allows him to remain in England for much of the year, a chance to return to The Oval might prove hard to refuse.
Meanwhile, Ottis Gibson, England’s bowling coach, was informally approached by Glamorgan with a view to applying for the coaching role vacated by Toby Radford, but is understood to have declined.
2pm GMT – This story was updated after Farbrace declined Surrey’s approach
George Dobell is a senior correspondent at ESPNcricinfo
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Source: ESPN Crickinfo