Marcus Trescothick and I used to take the mickey out of Ashley Giles and say that if he worked really hard then one day he could be a good second XI coach, but he has proved our prediction wrong.
It was all a laugh because we knew how good he could be. Giles is a smart, thoughtful and good person for England to have in charge of the one-day team and a future head of the whole show. I think it is a brilliant move and I'm really pleased it has happened.
Andy Flower will last longer with England now he has cut his workload, Gilo will take the one-day team in a new direction and the appointment shows county cricket can produce good coaches.
Ashley was underestimated as a player but his bravery and application in all situations was immense. He manufactured an international career out of the talent he had, but he also offered so much more for me as captain. I needed someone like him to work hard around the team.
We would go for a coffee on the Wednesday before every Test match and he would be a great sounding board for cricket and life. He is a mature, honest and dependable bloke. I could throw him the ball at any time against any player in the world and he would not panic. He was brave too. Every attack would pepper him with short balls but he took it all. He also played for many years with a very painful hip but I never once heard him moan.
At times he was criticised and after the first Test of the Ashes in 2005 people were saying he should be dropped. But he never went into hiding. He stood up, took the criticism and responded. He took wickets at Edgbaston, bowled Australia out in the first innings at Old Trafford, was there at the end at Trent Bridge and scored a fifty in that crucial stand with Kevin Pietersen at the Oval.
The fact he had to work hard for everything he achieved as player helps him as a coach. He knows how difficult it is to be an international cricketer. He had to graft for every wicket and run. He had to go to his room at night and think about his game and analyse opponents. He did not spin the ball massively so had to bowl with flight and negative fields to stay in the game. But at times he bowled beautifully and dismissed the best. Gilo was a workhorse but brought a lot to the team as a package. He was strong on ethics, honesty and a good communicator.
I have not known a player get on better with KP as well. That will help in the next couple of years. He knows how to communicate with Kevin.
Ashley was a good one-day bowler himself. England's one-day game and team need a new direction, which he will bring.
The players play so much cricket these days that freshening things up is a good idea. When you hear the same voice all the time, it becomes repetitive. Andy has done the right thing. There is only a short shelf life doing both jobs. Andy has a life to lead away from cricket. Just look at how many days he spends away from home and his children. Add on top of that all the focus and thinking he needs to do, even when England are not playing. It is draining. The whole KP affair will have taken a lot out of him as well.
He can now step away and prepare properly for the New Zealand tour and the back-to-back Ashes. He will be reborn. Also, Gilo will not try to step on Andy's toes. Even if he does brilliantly he will not demand to be Test coach. He's not that kind of bloke.