LONDON - Confirmation is expected on Monday that Mushtaq Ahmed, the former Pakistan legspinner, has been the latest of England's backroom staff to lose their job in the Peter Moores reshuffle but David Saker, the fast bowling coach, will continue with his current deal under the new set-up.
Mushtaq was recruited by Moores in 2008, during his previous spell as England coach, after the pair had been together at Sussex when they won their first Championship title in 2003. Mushtaq was involved in an era where Graeme Swann became one of England's greatest ever spinners, but he leaves with English spin bowling in one of its leanest patches with the strong possibility that they will not field a frontline spinner against Sri Lanka next month.
The decision, originally reported in the Guardian, will not come as a complete surprise for Mushtaq who has recently applied for a position with the Pakistan team which is also now under a returning head coach in Waqar Younis. It is understood he is in competition with Saqlain Mushtaq for the spin coach role.
Moores is keen to reduce the number of specialist coaches who are involved with England on match days so it is unlikely that Mushtaq will be directly replaced. Instead Peter Such, who looks after the spin programme at the academy in Loughborough, is expected to fill the role when required. Mushtaq joins Graham Gooch, the former batting coach, and Richard Halsall, the fielding coach, in not retaining their roles under what is becoming an extensive restructuring exercise. Saker, however, will be remain and will work with the young quick bowlers selected to play alongside the senior pair of James Anderson and Stuart Broad.
England's decision to take an attack full of tall quicks to Australia, and their subsequent failings, raised questions about Saker's role especially after the dramatic loss of form by Steven Finn. However, he can rightly point to the development of Anderson and Broad under his guidance, plus England's sustained period of success from 2009-2013, as factors in his favour. Last October he signed a contract that took him up to September 2015, which includes the next Ashes series.
England's backroom staff is gradually taking shape ahead of the start of Sri Lanka's visit which begins with a T20 later this month. Gooch's replacement is yet to be confirmed - Graham Thorpe and Mark Ramprakash remain favourites - while the future of Bruce French, the wicketkeeping coach, is still to be rubber stamped. With Moores and Paul Frabrace in position it is unlikely England will need a regular keeping specialist with the national side.