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Silverwood, a cricketer made in Yorkshire, now England Head Coach

— 7 October 2019

Here’s a quiz question for you. Who took England’s first Test five-wicket haul of the 21st century?

The answer: Chris Silverwood, a cricketer made in Yorkshire.

Silverwood claimed 5-91 from 32 overs against South Africa in Cape Town between January 2-5, 2000 as England lost by an innings.

A young whipper snapper of a fast bowler who made his debut for the White Rose county a couple of weeks after his 18th birthday in 1993, ‘Silvers’ is now England’s new head coach.

The journey to one of the most sought after jobs in world cricket has also taken him to Middlesex and, most importantly, Essex, where he won the County Championship title as their head coach in 2017.

He replaces Trevor Bayliss at the helm and is charged with improving England’s Test Match fortunes.

England’s white ball development is obviously in excellent shape. It could hardly be better after this summer’s one-day World Cup triumph on home soil.

But Test cricket is an area for improvement, especially the batting line-up.

Pontefract-born Silverwood is no stranger to the international environment as both a player and a coach.

Between 1996 and 2002, he played six Tests and seven ODIs.

He took four wickets on Test debut against Zimbabwe in Bulawayo and also played an Ashes Test in Perth in 2002.

Of his 13 international appearances across both formats, 12 of them came on tour, with his only home appearance coming in a one-day international against the Aussies.

Silverwood has been England’s bowling coach since the start of 2018, so had a significant influence on the World Cup win and knows the players and the set-up inside and out.

Before that, he cut his teeth at Chelmsford as their bowling coaching, a role he took in 2010. He stepped up to the main role ahead of the 2016 summer, replacing Paul Grayson, now at Emerald Headingley as Yorkshire’s batting coach.

When Silverwood left Essex for England, his number two was Anthony McGrath, who has since stepped up to head coach there and won the Championship again only a couple of weeks ago.

At the time, McGrath spoke to yorkshireccc.com and highlighted Silverwood’s “calmness” as a coach: “He doesn’t over-complicate things,” he said.

As a player, Silverwood was a bowler with genuine pace and the ability to move the ball away from right-handed batsmen.

He came through the age-groups at Headingley and made his second-team debut for the county in April 1992 alongside international team-mates to be Michael Vaughan and Craig White as well as Kevin Sharp and Gary Keedy.

He took 705 wickets in all first-team cricket for Yorkshire between 1993 and 2003, including 427 first-class scalps with a best of 7-93 against Kent at Headingley in late 1997.

Educated in Garforth, the latter stages of his White Rose career was hampered by injury and ultimately ended by opportunity, and he moved to Middlesex, where he spent the last four seasons of his career.

His final first-class appearance, however, came for Zimbabwe side Mashonaland Eagles.

There has been talk of South African Gary Kirsten taking over from Trevor Bayliss, but director of England cricket Ashley Giles has opted for Silverwood instead, describing him as, “The standout candidate”.

His first assignment will be next month’s T20 and Test tour to New Zealand.

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