ECB concurs with Schofield committee~~s report

Published: Friday, May 25, 2007, 23:53 [IST]
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London:A 19-point plan designed to make England the world's top cricketing nation was largely approved by the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) on Thursday.

The recommendations, covering individual players, the England team and the structure of the ECB, were forwarded by an independent committee headed by former European golf supremo Ken Schofield and including former England captain Nasser Hussain.

Schofield was chosen by the ECB to examine the health of English cricket in January following the humbling 5-0 Ashes defeat in Australia.

As far as the under-performing England team is concerned, the plan called for a reduction in the amount of international cricket to allow players more recovery time.

It also recommended a reduction in the amount of domestic first class cricket, with the 40-over format likely to go.

The review called for a new management structure within the ECB with full accountability and responsibility for the selection and performance of the England team.

Reacting to the review, ECB chairman David Morgan said: "The Board wishes to express its gratitude to all members of the Schofield Review Team and in particular to Ken Schofield for his leadership of this review.

"The review was exceptionally well received by the Board and I am delighted that the prompt endorsement of the recommendations will enable the beneficial changes outlined to be implemented in the immediate future."

While 17 of the 19 points were endorsed immediately, the ECB said it would need a period of consultation to finalise a plan for the restructuring of the management structure of the England team and the domestic game.

New Ashes schedule proposed: Ashes Test series in Australia are set to be rescheduled so they don't take place just before the World Cup, the chief executive of the England and Wales Cricket Board announced at Leeds on Thursday.

David Collier told a news conference at Headingley he was in discussion with his Cricket Australia counterpart, James Sutherland, and they would soon be putting forward proposals to their respective boards.

Collier was speaking at the launch of the Schofield report into the future of English cricket.

Chaired by former European golf tour boss Ken Schofield, it also featured six ex-England cricketers, including former captain Nasser Hussain.

Collier insisted England were "locked in" to their current programme until 2011 because of agreements already in place with other boards.

England are due to host an Ashes series in 2013. Breaking the cycle so the next Ashes in Australia didn't lead up to the 2015 World Cup in Australia and New Zealand could see them played in 2012.

But Collier said clashing with the London Olympics in 2012 would be "suicide" and that the series would be shifted forward instead to 2014.

England have never won the World Cup and there is a feeling within English cricket their chances are being hampered by a lead in of a busy home programme folowed by an Ashes tour.

While England advertise the post of national selector, the current panel of chairman David Graveney, coach Peter Moores and Geoff Miller will remain in place.


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