England managing director Ashley Giles has dismissed the idea of a swathe of sackings among the country's senior Test set-up in the wake of the dreadful showing at the Ashes.
Under-fire head coach Chris Silverwood and captain Joe Root have already faced the media since England were bowled out for 68 in an embarrassing end to the third Test Down Under.
But Giles had been quiet until now, and has used his first public appearance as an opportunity to look ahead to what might happen once this tour is mercifully over.
The former England spinner apologised for the team's performance in Australia, but asked fans to bear in mind that the pandemic and the restrictions brought in as a result have made this series and past year tough.
He also said everything would be "on the table" in terms of what comes next after the tour is over, but stressed that he feels systemic changes would be more appropriate than a huge cull of the leadership.
"Unless we look at more systemic change and a collective responsibility and solutions, we can make whatever changes we want," Giles said.
"You can change me, change the head coach, change the captain. But we're only setting up future leaders for failure. That's all we're doing. We're only pushing it down the road."
England lost a record nine Tests in 2021, leaving head coach Silverwood on thin ice at best when it comes to keeping his role.
But while that record is abysmal, struggles against the best Test sides in the world are nothing new.
England have won just one of their last 29 matches in Australia, New Zealand and India – the three teams ranked above them in this format.
That run goes back to the series victory over India in 2012/13, with 21 of those 29 matches ending in defeats.
Giles says the fact England have played "a hell of a lot of Test cricket" in the last year is also a factor of their woeful form, with fatigue playing a part in some consistently poor performances. When the Ashes series concludes, they would have played 17 Tests since the start of last year.
"Over that period, it was as three times as much as Australia, 50 per cent more than India. It's a huge amount of cricket we're playing, and in a time of Covid it's been pretty horrendous at times," he added.
"We can't kid ourselves. There's been a lot more going on in the last two years than just performance."
Giles added: "We've struggled against the sides above us. What's important is that we don't try to paper over the cracks. We could easily go to the West Indies and win, and then win this summer, and everything's all right.
"But I think we still need to be truly focused on finding a way we can compete out here and in India.
"That is difficult. If it was a failing of this leadership, then fine, I'd take that, I'm at peace with that accountability. But I'm not the first and I won't be the last, unless we make some changes."
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