sport

'Moores to be judged on Ashes'

Surrey coach Alec Stewart says new England coach Peter Moores will ultimately be judged on whether or not he wins back the Ashes.

Moores was appointed as head coach on Saturday, with Paul Farbrace - currently coach of Sri Lanka - expected to be named as his number two.

It will be Moores' second spell as England supremo - his first ended five years ago with the sack - and he replaces Andy Flower as head coach.

Stewart says Moores, who has had huge success in county cricket with Sussex and Lancashire, will have to bed new players into the team this summer against Sri Lanka and India, and in the West Indies in the winter.

The ultimate test though comes next summer with the Ashes in England.

"First of all best of luck - I'm a big England fan," Stewart, one of England's most prolific Test batsmen, told Sky Sports News.

"We should also thank Andy Flower for what he's done for England cricket over a period of time. That should not be underestimated. And we wish Peter the best of luck.

"Peter had a little go for a year and a half, and that was cut short. He's openly said that's he's a better coach now and understands international cricket better which is great for him, the team and England.

"And also Paul Farbrace who is coming over from Sri Lanka - I think they have to dot the 'i's and cross the 't's on his contract over there - so a new team in the management. But let's see how the team plays. If the team plays well it makes the coach's job easier."

Keeping alert

Moores and Farbrace were both wicketkeepers in their playing days, as was Stewart.

"Whether it's being behind the stumps you can analyse both the bowlers and the batsmen...I don't know," he said. "But Moores did a great job at Sussex, led them to Championships, and did the same at Lancashire.

"So if he can do that for England they will be in good place sooner rather than later. I think it will take time. I think it will fluctuate. Some new people will come in.

"It's a relatively easier new few series. Sri Lanka at home we'd expect to win and India at home. And the West Indies away, yes it's a challenge but they are not the strongest Test side.

"It will allow some of the new players to bed down in Test cricket, get used to the Test arena and the international environment.

"Then you've got the Ashes next year and that is when everyone will be judged. It will be nice to see Alistair Cook and Peter Moores here at the Oval with the little urn."