Key charged with leading change in English cricket

Former England batsman Robert Key was appointed chief executive of the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) yesterday, ushering in a new era for English cricket.
Joe Root was the latest in a string of resignations when he announced his decision on Friday to step down as England Test captain after a disastrous 12 months of red-ball cricket, including a dismal 4-0 defeat to Australia in the Ashes.
Root’s decision left an almost complete power vacuum at the ECB.
Head coach Chris Silverwood, batting coach Graham Thorpe and former general manager Ashley Giles lost their jobs for three consecutive days in February following an unsuccessful tour of Australia.
Key has mainly worked as a commentator and pundit since retiring from county cricket with Kent in 2015.
“It is an absolute honor to take on this role. The chance to make an impact and make a difference is an opportunity given to very few and I will give everything I have to try to shape the next great era of English men’s cricket,” Key said in a statement. .
“I absolutely loved my time at Sky and never would have imagined leaving without this amazing opportunity. I would like to personally thank Bryan Henderson and everyone on the team for their help and support.
“Although at the moment it is a difficult time for English cricket, I also think it is as exciting a time as I can remember.
“With two of our teams close to or at the top of the world rankings and an undeniable amount of talent in our game, I hope to try and bring everyone with us so that we can all help take English men’s cricket to new heights. peaks across all formats.”
One of Key’s first challenges will be naming a successor to Root, with Ben Stokes the favorite to take on the role of one of the few players guaranteed to be on the Test squad.
Key will also be responsible for England men’s cricket team strategy and performance pathways, and will play a role in an upcoming high performance review.
England’s falling Test standards – they have not won for five consecutive series and are currently bottom of the World Test Championship table – have caused much concern, amid calls to be prioritized in the red ball game.
Last month, caretaker general manager Andrew Strauss said the high performance review would include a goal of making England “the best in the world in every format”.
Strauss said last month: “The perception so far is that it’s all about red ball cricket and it’s all about the domestic game. But the way we approach it, and I believe the only way to approach these things is to start at the beginning, which is the scale of our ambition for the game in this country.
“And I think we’re looking very strongly to be the best in the world in all formats.
“I think the ripple effects, throughout the game if the showcase works well, are huge, so as a game we have to align with that ambition.
“If you take a longer-term perspective on these things, you have to say to yourself, ‘How can both teams operate simultaneously? and ‘How do we best support our white ball and red ball specialists to enable this to happen?’
As a player, Key played 15 Tests for England between 2002 and 2005, as well as five one-day internationals and a Twenty20 international.
A former Kent captain, Key is a hugely respected figure in the game and his international highlights include scoring a double hundred Test against the West Indies at Lord’s in 2004, earning him the title of one of the Wisden Cricketers of the Year in 2005, having been part of the England team that won the U19 World Cup in 1998.
ECB Director General Tom Harrison said: “Following an extensive recruitment process, Rob has stood out in a very competitive field.
“His passion and knowledge of the game at national and international level is exceptional.”
England’s summer begins with a three-Test series against New Zealand, starting June 2, before also facing India and South Africa.