England coach to fly home from New Zealand tour after bereavement

Wellington (AFP) –


England coach Chris Silverwood will leave his team's tour of New Zealand early because of a family bereavement, officials said Wednesday.

The England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) said Silverwood would depart on Saturday after day two of the second Test in Hamilton.

"Assistant coaches Graham Thorpe and Paul Collingwood will assume responsibility of team affairs alongside Test captain Joe Root for the remainder of the New Zealand tour," it tweeted.

The New Zealand tour is Silverwood's first in charge of England after he was named as Trevor Bayliss's replacement in October.

Silverwood's team were trounced by an innings and 65 runs in the first Test and rocked by Jofra Archer's revelation that a spectator at Mount Maunganui's Bay Oval racially abused the fast bowler.

Star allrounder Ben Stokes played down the impact of Silverwood's absence, saying the coach had already completed his tactical blueprint for the second Test.

"Once we get going, the onus is on the players really for the five days, so Spoons (Silverwood) going home won't be a distraction to us whatsoever," Stokes told the , picture r=.

He backed Silverwood's decision to depart so early in his tenure.

"Family always comes first, no matter where you are in the world or the situation the team finds itself in," Stokes said.

"He asked my opinion personally and I said 'from my point of view you need to get yourself back home'."

The ECB did not specify the nature of Silverwood's bereavement.