Paul Collingwood appointed interim head coach of England ahead of West Indies tour

Following the sacking of Chris Silverwood last week, Paul Collingwood will take charge of the Test team ahead of England's West Indies tour.

Following England's dismal 4-0 thumping in The Ashes, a culling of staff ensued, with managing director Ashley Giles, head coach Chris Silverwood and assistant coach Graham Thorpe all heading for the exit.

Sir Andrew Strauss took over the director role on an interim basis, and England have now appointed Paul Collingwood as their new interim head coach.

Collingwood's first task will be to prepare the side for the upcoming tour of the West Indies in March.

The 45-year-old previously took charge of the Twenty20 series in the Carribean, which England narrowly lost 3-2.

Plenty of rumours have linked Surrey director Alec Stewart to the head coach role in recent weeks, while former Australia coach Justin Langer has also been mentioned.

But Strauss has opted to look internally for a short-term replacement, and Collingwood now has an opportunity to stake a claim for the full-time role if he impresses during the Tests in Antigua, Barbados and Grenada.

In fact, the last time an interim coach took charge of a series in the West Indies - Andy Flower in 2009 following the sacking of Peter Moores - England enjoyed huge success not only in the tour, but also by becoming the No.1 Test team in the world. We can only hope Collingwood has the same effect.

Following the appointment, Collingwood said: "I am genuinely excited to be leading the Test team for the tour of the Caribbean. I can't wait to get started.

"Having a challenging Test series against the West Indies straight off the back of the Ashes disappointment gives us a chance from now to reset and rebuild.

"Playing Test matches for England is the highest accolade in the game. My objective is to give players clarity, direction and encouragement for them to start building something special."

Having stayed on for a break following the T20 series, Collingwood is already in the West Indies, and the former Durham player is set to join the team in Antigua when they arrive on February 25.

The squad is set to be named on Tuesday, with many of the disappointed players from the Ashes tour set to be included, alongside a flurry of new names.

READ MORE: Australia head coach Justin Langer resigns amid England links

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