England coach Trevor Bayliss has nominated assistant Paul Farbrace as his eventual successor and would consider handing over the reins of the Twenty20 side before the end of his contract.
Bayliss confirmed last month he would be leaving when his existing deal expires in September 2019, kicking off an early bout of speculation about who might take over.
Recently-appointed bowling coach Chris Silverwood has his admirers after steering Essex to the Specsavers County Championship last season, Jason Gillespie has long been linked and is back in the English game with Sussex and Paul Collingwood ranks highly among the next generation.
But Bayliss is looking even closer to home and would like to see his long-term lieutenant get the chance.
“Obviously I think Paul Farbrace, as the assistant, would do a grand job. He’s had experience around the world now with Sri Lanka and England, I think he’d do a good job.
“If that’s a possibility down the line, so be it. We work pretty closely together anyway. If that’s what they wanted to do – I don’t think it would be too much of a problem at all.”
Farbrace has a slender CV as top dog, with a disappointing spell at Kent his only permanent senior post.
“When I was a number two years ago, a bloke said to me ‘the role of the number two is to make the number one look good’ and I think he’s done a good job in that respect,” said the Australian.
“He’s very well respected among the group of players, he knows the England system very well.
“He’s a very personable guy, has a good relationship with the players and he’s a good coach.”
After England bowed out of the Tri-Series, despite victory over New Zealand in Hamilton, Bayliss reiterated his belief that the shortest format should not be part of the international calendar and played exclusively by domestic franchises.
That effectively leaves him doing a job he feels should not exist and brings the question of a split coaching team firmly back on the table.
Other nations, including Australia, are considering distinct backroom staffs and Bayliss would be open to relinquishing part of his authority.
“That will obviously be a discussion with higher levels, with Andrew Strauss (ECB director of cricket) and people like that,” he said.
“If that was what they thought was the way to go ahead, I’d be all for it. If not, I am more than happy to keep going and work with these guys towards that next T20 World Cup.”