x Abu Dhabi, UAESaturday 22 July 2017

Buchanan denies pre-Ashes defection

The former Australia coach John Buchanan has admitted having talks with the England and Wales Cricket Board about a consultancy role but denied he will have any involvement in the upcoming Ashes series.

SYDNEY // The former Australia coach John Buchanan has admitted having talks with the England and Wales Cricket Board about a consultancy role but denied he will have any involvement in the upcoming Ashes series. Buchanan won three of four Ashes series as Australia coach, losing in 2005 - the last time the series was held in England - before recovering to guide the team to a 5-0 win in 2007 and later retiring from the national job.

The media speculated last week that the timing of Buchanan's meetings with the ECB in Birmingham could mean he was ready to defect ahead of the Ashes, which starts on July 8. "That is not true," Buchanan said yesterday. "I did drop in and see some cricket officials in England ... but it was a fleeting visit." Buchanan said there was "nothing concrete" about any work with England in the near future.

Buchanan said picking a winner was very hard. "I just think it lines up to be a very tense and exciting series at this stage," he said. "Both teams are a bit fragile due to changes and other peripheral things that have been going on. Those things can be a distraction to both sides." * AFP