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Giles ready for Warks task

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Ashley Giles

Ashley Giles © Getty Images

Former England spinner Ashley Giles made a surprise return to Warwickshire as their new director of cricket and immediately set his sights on restoring their fortunes.

Giles, who was forced to retire from playing only a month ago by a chronic hip complaint, has replaced former New Zealand batsman Mark Greatbatch who left the club by mutual consent following double relegation in the LV County Championship and NatWest Pro40 League.

Giles, 34, claimed he was shocked by Warwickshire's performance when he saw them lose to Hampshire in a Pro40 game last month and has now set his sights on guiding them to a double promotion.

“The club are probably in their worst position since I've been involved with them and that's not a good situation,” said Giles, who joined Warwickshire in 1992.

“I don't intend to be a suited director of cricket. I am not qualified as a coach at the highest level, but I have played in some high-performing teams and played under some of the best coaches in the world.

“I think that I understand my cricket and I understand my players.

“I see my role as being involved at every level from the first team down through the second XI to the academy and development sides.

Ashley Giles

Ashley Giles in England action last winter © Getty Images

“It's a big club and a quality club. We should not be where we are at the moment, but we are.

“We have to be realistic about our expectations. The goal is to be get back into the First Division but we can't just turn up and expect it to happen.

"We have got to work very hard this winter to make sure that happens and I hope we will make significant improvements in our cricket.”

Giles will now set about conducting a review of the existing coaching staff at Warwickshire and will be given the authority to bring in his own coaching team.

“I've got some thoughts going around my head at the moment about the coaching as well as players we need to strengthen the squad,” he said.

Giles has been appointed on a 12-month rolling contract, while Greatbatch departed with a year remaining on his contract after two years in charge.

“We felt that we needed to make a statement,” said chief executive Colin Povey.

“We needed to move forward quickly and give ourselves the best possible chance of starting next season in a strong position on and off the field.

“In my opinion waiting another eight or 12 weeks to make this appointment would be far from ideal.

“Mark was very disappointed, but he understands the nature of professional sport and he will probably feel that a weight has been lifted from him. The last few weeks have been very difficult for him.”

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