Friday, April 19

‘An absolute honour’: England appoint Rob Key as director of men’s cricket | england cricket team

England have appointed Rob Key as their permanent managing director of men’s cricket. The former Kent captain has taken over from Andrew Strauss, who held the role on an interim basis after Ashley Giles’s sacking in February.

The announcement from the England and Wales Cricket Board has come two days after Joe Root resigned as captain of the men’s Test side, and a significant early challenge for Key comes with deciding upon a replacement for the man who oversaw just one victory in England’s last 17 tests.

Despite the troubled landscape he finds himself parachuted into, Key said: “It is an absolute honor to take up this role. The chance to have an impact and make a difference is an opportunity given to very few and I will give it everything I have to try to shape the next great era of English men’s cricket.

“Although at this current moment it has been a challenging time in English cricket, I also think it’s as exciting a time as I can remember. With two of our teams near or at the top of the world rankings and an undoubted amount of talent in our game, I hope to try and bring everyone along for the ride so we can all help take English men’s cricket to new heights across all formats .”

Key, 42, has worked as a commentator for Sky since his retirement from playing in 2015. Tom Harrison, the ECB’s chief executive, said: “Following a thorough recruitment process, Rob stood out in a very competitive field. His passion and knowledge of the game at domestic and international level is outstanding.

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“He is a proven leader and combines an approachable nature with fresh original thinking and resilience which will stand him in good stead. He will bring a lot to the role and I am sure players and staff will alike enjoy working with Rob. I have no doubt he will relish the challenge before us.”

“I’d like to thank Andrew for agreeing to step back into the role on an interim basis. To have someone of his experience and skillset during the transition and recruitment process was invaluable. He remains a huge asset to English and Welsh Cricket.”

As well as the captaincy, Key will also consider the way forward in terms of England’s coaching structure. The 2022-23 winter sees Test and white-ball tours overlap, which may call for separate head coaches for the two men’s teams. Key, in his role as a pundit, has previously advocated such a split, albeit for performance reasons.

Speaking on Sky’s Cricket podcast in February, Key said: “I would split the coaching. Not because it’s a lot of work but because it’s two very different teams at two different times. the [white-ball] team could do with a facilitator coach who can just keep delivering what they’re doing but challenge them. The Test team needs a completely different style of coach – a driver of culture and environment. The biggest thing is the mentality, which I think has been very poor.”

As well as scoring over 28,000 runs in his career, Key played 15 Tests, five one-day internationals and one T20 for England, and scored 221 in one innings of the first Test against West Indies at Lord’s in 2004. He also captained Kent in two spells from 2006-2012 and 2014-15.

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