‘If they want me, they know where I am’ says Paul Collingwood as he eyes England job

Despite enduring a disappointing defeat in the West Indies, Paul Collingwood has thrown his name into contention as England continue to look for a new permanent coach.

Collingwood revealed he hopes to have a future in England's new coaching set-up, but also admitted that the team's schedule could break the players "physically and emotionally". 

The 45-year-old spent the last month working as the interim head coach, but endured a difficult series against the West Indies having lost 1-0.

England are also chasing a new director of cricket, with the likes of Marcus North, Mark Nicholas and former England batter Rob Key among the frontrunners.

Collingwood's name is also in contention, with the limited-overs position his most obvious landing place.

Speaking about the ongoing search, he said: "I've put my hat in the ring and if they want me, they know where I am.

England coach Paul David Collingwood during day three of the cinch Third Test match at the Emerald Headingley, Leeds. Picture date: Friday August 27, 2021.

"They've seen what I can do. I haven't got much experience as a head coach, but you would never get a job if that was the case. I feel as though what I've done over the last few weeks is a good start but it's only a start.

"It's very rewarding, I promise you. I can imagine if you start winning and turn the corner, the satisfaction you'd get from that would be incredible. It's stressful but the upside is very rewarding.

"If I was to take this team forward I'd want to make them a lot better as quickly as possible. There's a lot of speculation on the way they're going to do it and that will come from the managing director.

"Nobody knows until you get that clarity, so it's important to have that moving forward so everybody understands how we're going to go about it."

One issue which the England hierarchy will have to resolve is the team's ever-expanding schedule.

The Test and limited-over commitments are increasingly beginning to intersect, with decisions over how and where to utilise players becoming tricker every year.

Considering the Test team have won just one of their last 17 matches, it's clear where the priority lies. However, with the T20 World Cup coming up this year, and the 50-over tournament beginning in 2023, there is little space for breathing room.

If that wasn't enough, England also have a packed winter schedule, which includes six touring commitments across four different countries.

Collingwood underlined the issue, saying: "I'm sure the new coach will want to pick best team he can possibly have but if you look at that fixture list, we're going to have to be very careful.

Ben Stokes of England looks on during day 4 of the fourth Ashes Test between Australia and England at the SCG, Sydney, Saturday, January 8, 2022.

"Have a look at the fixture list: we're going to blow a lot of players out of the water very quickly. Ben Stokes has been a prime example. He's put his body on the line this series because he wants to win games of cricket.

"If players continue to do that they'll break; they'll break physically and emotionally. So we've got to be a little bit careful to say 'get the best team on the park every time' because that fixture list moving forward is horrific.

"We're all playing Covid catch-up. We all know that. It's going to be hectic for the next two years because we've got to catch-up on games and organisations need to catch up on money."

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