Andrew Strauss has recruited Sir David Brailsford, the former performance director of British Cycling and current director of sport at Ineos, to his high performance review of English cricket. Dan Ashworth, the former director of elite development at the Football Association, has also been hired as Strauss looks to propel England’s men’s teams to the top of the rankings in every format.
Strauss chairs the England and Wales Cricket Board’s performance cricket committee, which is conducting research before producing a proposed pathway to global dominance in time for any necessary restructuring of the domestic calendar to be voted on this year and implemented in 2023.
Along with a number of figures within the game, the committee has reached out to notable figures in other sports. Brailsford and Ashworth are the standout names and are joined by Kate Baker, the director of performance at UK Sport, Penny Hughes, former chair of Aston Martin, and Simon Timson, who as well as once leading the England cricket development programme has also had leading roles at UK Sport, the Lawn Tennis Association and British Skeleton and is currently performance director at Manchester City.
“We’ve never had a set of English men’s teams which are the best in the world across all formats at the same time, so whatever we’ve done in the past hasn’t got us to where we want to go,” Strauss wrote on the ECB’s website, promising to “look outwards to see what we can learn from other sports and having an inquisitive nature about what’s worked well elsewhere”.
“Once we have identified a set of high-performance principles, we will take these, along with independent analysis and data, and develop a series of options for discussion with the wider game during the summer,” Strauss added. “I’m very keen to get to a situation where solid proposals are voted on in September, to give time for counties and the England set-up to prepare for the 2023 season and beyond.”
One thing the committee will not be seeking to change is the international schedule that England’s new Test captain, Ben Stokes, recently described as “ridiculous” and “something that definitely needs looking at”, on the grounds that it is not fully under the ECB’s control.
Meanwhile, Derbyshire have signed the 25-year-old Australian all-rounder Hayden Kerr as a replacement for the Sri Lanka seamer Suranga Lakmal, who is out for the season with an elbow injury. “Hayden fits our bill,” said Mickey Arthur, Derbyshire’s head coach. “He’s a left-arm fast bowler who can bowl at the death as well, and gives it a good whack with the bat.”