ICC World Cup 2023 – Matthew Mott has Rob Key’s ‘full backing’ to continue as England white-ball coach

Matthew Mott has Rob Key’s “full backing” to continue as England’s white-ball coach, despite their group-stage exit at the World Cup in India.
Mott expressed his desire to continue in the role after England’s 93-run win over Pakistan in Kolkata on Saturday, which confirmed the consolation prize of a seventh-place finish and a 2025 Champions Trophy spot. “If anything, I’m more determined than ever,” he said.

Key, England’s managing director, said on Sunday morning that Mott has his full support ahead of next year’s T20 World Cup. Key himself shouldered the blame for England’s shortcomings, which he said were the result of his desire to prioritise their Test team.

“Coaching is pretty simple: you’re judged by your results, but you’re also judged by the way that your players go out and play and they haven’t done that at all,” Key told the BBC. “Matthew would be the first one to say that.

“But I find it a funny position to be in where I’m blaming Matthew Mott for this when in many conversations I’ve had to say, ‘sorry, you’re not going to have your best team – you’re not going to have Joe Root, Ben Stokes, all of these people because the Test team’s going to.’

“So the first time it goes wrong, I’m not going to sit here and go, ‘actually, right, you should have done this, you should have done that.’ We’ll have some pretty honest conversations, as you do in these things and say, ‘right, what you’re going to do to improve this?’ But as far as I’m concerned he gets my full backing and an opportunity to try and turn it around.”

Key said that it was hard for him to criticise either Mott or Jos Buttler, who will retain his position as captain, since his own decisions had undermined their ability to drive England’s ODI team forward since their appointments at the start of last summer.

“It’s very hard for me to be critical of Jos Buttler and Matthew Mott when I’m the one who, every single time the decision has been made for whether or not we focus on 50-over cricket, Test cricket or T20, I’ve always chosen Test cricket,” Key said.

“Every single time, I’ve been the one. So I hold myself accountable really, more so than anyone else, for what’s gone wrong on this. There’s plenty of things we’d do differently which we’ve got to try and do.”

England have made a swathe of changes for their tour to the Caribbean next month, and Key said that Buttler and Mott would be given the chance to lead a rebuild. But he hinted that another title defence like this one could prompt a change in leadership.

“I think Jos will be a better leader for this,” Key said. “We have to pick [squads by asking], ‘who are our best white ball players?’ Bang, put them in there. We have to get back to defining every single role: who do we want? Who is the best player to fulfill that role.

“Investing in them will give Jos that clarity going forward. I feel this actually should be the making of those two as a partnership. If it isn’t, it isn’t, and you move on – but we have to make sure some good comes out of what has been a very poor World Cup.”

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