England must make the most of their “best opportunity” to win a World Cup as well as regain the Ashes series on home soil this year, new director of cricket Ashley Giles has said.
The Test team were blanked 4-0 by Australia in the last Ashes series Down Under but Giles backed them to respond strongly and recapture the coveted urn when they face their arch-rivals in August and September.
“I believe we can win the World Cup and the Ashes. This year creates probably the best opportunity for a long time.
“I think with World Cups we found ourselves, in the past, suddenly running into a bit of a meltdown or change – that’s not the case this time around.”
England and Wales will host the World Cup, which is held by Australia following their 2015 win.
“I think the focus on white-ball cricket has been a real step change in what we do,” added Giles. “I was involved from a coaching perspective in 2012, 2013 and 2014 and white ball played second fiddle to Test cricket.
“Andrew addressed that balance and the results are pretty clear. I know it must have been incredibly difficult to give up the role on the eve of a World Cup he has worked so hard towards.”
England are currently on tour in the West Indies where they play three Tests, five one-dayers and three Twenty20 Internationals.