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‘King of Spain’ Ashley Giles to take Test reins?

Former England slow left arm bowler Ashley Giles looks set to become the next national head coach in all forms of the game, after Gary Kirsten rules himself out of the position.

Coral have backed the 40-year-old Englishman at 8/15 to get the nod over the likes of former boss Peter Moores (4/1), Tom Moody (14/1) and recent captain Andrew Strauss (9/1).

Giles is currently in charge of England’s limited-over matches (Twenty20 and One Day Internationals), and will know the current crop of players better than any other candidate.

With the Twenty20 World Cup coming up in March, it gives the former Warwickshire head coach the opportunity to show his worth to try and bring back some of the confidence that England lost following the Ashes agony down under.

England have odds of 9/1 to win next month’s 20-over international prize, but being seventh favourites behind the likes of the West Indies and Pakistan, Giles has a tough task on his hands. But not having greats expectations could work in his favour.

ECB chief Giles Clarke has even publicly stated his support and strongly hinted that he wants one man to be in charge of all three forms of the game again. He said: “We’ve learned with the dividing roles and think it’s better to bring them together.

We would agree [Giles] is a strong candidate. He’s a valued employee of the ECB, a man of great integrity and ability,” he added.

Top-target Kirsten, who had highly successful spells in charge of South Africa and India, was linked with the role, but has now ruled out taking over the task of attempting to restore England’s fortunes. His odds have now dropped to 20/1.

It is a shame, as the South African would’ve no doubt brought instant respect, experience and stability to the evaporating squad – having recently lost key players Jonathan Trott, Graeme Swann and Kevin Pietersen for different reasons.

Giles’ credentials do look promising from his short coaching career so far, having won the County Championship with Warwickshire in 2012 and leading England to the Champions Trophy final last summer.

Whoever is appointed, they face a huge challenge to pick up the pieces, and will need to reform a new-look England by replacing such crucial former team members.

New Zealand-born Ben Stokes already looks set to be regular for the future, with the likes of promising youngsters Joe Root, Gary Ballance and Jos Buttler to offer the new head coach some hope that England can be world-beaters again very soon.

Other candidates linked with the job include Mike Newell, with odds of 11/1, Michael Vaughan(11/1) and surprise fourth-favourite Ian Botham (10/1).