‘It’s exciting the mix we’ll have’ – Matthew Mott keen for new England management group to get going

England

Matthew Mott, England’s new white-ball coach, believes the coaching set-up appointed by the ECB is an “exciting” one, and is looking forward to working with Brendon McCullum, his Test counterpart, and Rob Key, the managing director of men’s cricket.

Mott was unveiled earlier this week, having spent seven years in charge of Australia’s highly successful women’s team. With England’s men currently ranked No. 2 in both ODI and T20 cricket, playing to a clearly defined philosophy honed under the captaincy of Eoin Morgan, Mott said he saw parallels with his previous job.

Australia’s women were reigning 50-over and T20 world champions when Mott took charge, although they lost both titles before going on to reestablish themselves as the dominant force, winning back-to-back World T20s in 2018 and 2020 before going unbeaten through this year’s ODI World Cup.

“There is a lot of similarities and that’s certainly what we spoke about in the interview process,” Mott told SEN WA radio. “I took over a very successful team when I started and to be honest we almost seemed to be going backwards for a little bit. It wasn’t until the 2017 World Cup [when Australia lost at the semi-final stage] that we had to really start from scratch. It was the pivotal moment for that team, they had to come up with some solutions on why we were being timid under pressure, and it was the playing group themselves who got together.”

His coaching style is likely to resonate with the players who have thrived under Morgan in limited-overs cricket, culminating in a maiden men’s 50-over World Cup success in 2019. “When I look at a player now I try to forget about the barriers around their game and try instil confidence that they take the game on,” Mott said. “Free the players up, let them enjoy themselves, and help them when they fall down.”

With England’s Test team set to be the priority, Mott has already been told by Key that he “may not get your best side” at times. However, Mott already has a good working relationship with McCullum, having spent time together with Kolkata Knight Riders in the IPL, and he said he was keen to get together alongside Key and map out the road ahead.

“Just the way the schedule looks – I haven’t looked too far into the next two or three years – but it will be a little like ships in the night. England play a lot of cricket in the next 12 months. Initially I’ll get over there and try to spend some time with him in London, and Rob Key, to try and get through the plan.

“I have a great relationship with Brendon, I worked with him at KKR and he was pretty close to getting me to New Zealand a few years ago. We are very different people. It’s exciting the mix we’ll have, especially Rob, myself and Brendon with three really good, different ideas coming in.”

Mott also admitted that England splitting the coaching roles had been a factor in his decision to apply. Australia have just appointed Andrew McDonald as head coach for the men’s team across all formats, but Mott said he would not have relished such a demanding workload.

“Different systems have different needs,” he said. “What I will say is what attracted me to this role was the fact it was split. Family is really important to me and the idea of being on the road for 11 months wasn’t going to be a thing I’d really enjoy. For me it will be great to go back and watch some county cricket [Mott previously coached Glamorgan], get to know some of the fringe players, I think that’s important for me.”

As for leading England in a T20 World Cup on Australian soil later this year, Mott said that parking his allegiances would not be an issue.

“Coaching is one of those games where there’s only a few positions at the right time. I’ll wish well to the Australian cricket team, I coached a lot of those guys at New South Wales and love seeing them do well. Ben Sawyer, our assistant coach, said this when we talked about franchise cricket, you’ve just got to love the one you’re with. When I’m in there I’ll be trying to do everything I can to win cricket matches and leave some sort of legacy when I do move on.”

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