England bowling coach Jon Lewis set to revert to player development role as backroom changes loom

·2 min read
Jon Lewis has worked as England’s fast bowling coach since March 2021  (Getty Images)
Jon Lewis has worked as England’s fast bowling coach since March 2021 (Getty Images)

England bowling coach Jon Lewis appears set to revert to a role in the player pathway, away from the national team, at the end of this season.

As England’s summer nears its end (their final Test series of the season, against South Africa, began yesterday), changes to the backroom staff loom, with Lewis's role set to be the first to change.

Lewis, 46, was promoted to elite fast bowling coach in March 2021, in a round of appointments that also saw Marcus Trescothick (batting) and Jeetan Patel (spin bowling) earn new titles. Since then, he has been England’s fast bowling coach at home and on tour.

Before taking that job, Lewis was coach of England’s Young Lions and also worked with Sussex, one of three counties he represented as a player. He is seen as a better fit to revert to that role when the season ends.

This is the first significant change to England’s backroom staff since Rob Key appointed Brendon McCullum and Matthew Mott as Test and white-ball head coaches respectively at the start of the season.

Throughout their first summers in charge, the pair have inherited the support staff of the previous regime, but will now have some input over who works with them.

While the likes of Lewis, Trescothick, Patel and Paul Collingwood have worked across both formats this summer, Key has been clear that he believes separate staffs for red- and white-ball cricket are required.

Lewis appears set to move back to player development, and it is unclear at this stage which camp the likes of Trescothick will sit in, or who McCullum and Mott will bring in from the outside, but clearly there is scope for a bowling coach to come in.

McCullum is thought to believe England’s backroom staff is bloated and wants to reduce the number of voices in the dressing room. Some support staff who have previously been in the changing room day-to-day are now making just occasional appearances.

Key has also used fill-in coaches when his staff has been stretched by England’s arduous schedule. Neil Killeen, the Durham fast bowler, has worked with the white-ball team this year.

Key made clear that he wants to reintroduce the role of national selector, which was made redundant when his predecessor Ashley Giles fired Ed Smith 18 months ago. Key has done the job on an interim basis this summer.