CHRIS Silverwood, who led Essex to the 2017 County Championship title, has been appointed as England's new head coach.

The 44-year-old has spent the past two years serving as fast bowling coach under Trevor Bayliss, who stepped down last month at the end of his contract.

While former India and South Africa coach Gary Kirsten and Surrey's director of cricket Alec Stewart emerged as contenders to succeed the Australian, Silverwood was described as the "outstanding candidate" by a three-man England and Wales Cricket Board selection panel.

Silverwood said: "I am thrilled and honoured to be appointed England head coach.

"I aim to continue the great work that has been done over the past five years and build on our future, especially in the Test arena.

"I have enjoyed working with the players over the past two seasons, and developing the best crop of talent in the English game. I am excited to get started and build teams that the whole game can be proud of."

Silverwood stepped down as Essex's head coach after leading the county to the County Championship crown two years ago.