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Men's Cricket Whitaker stepping away as England selector as ECB plans major changes

ENGLAND selector James Whitaker is to leave his post as part of a major overhaul within the England and Wales Cricket Board.

Whitaker, an England selector for a decade, will step down at the end of the month as the ECB plans a new approach to picking players for all forms of international cricket.

Fellow England selectors Angus Fraser and Mick Newell will retain their positions for now and can apply for new roles, the ECB confirmed today.

“The England and Wales Cricket Board is to introduce a new approach to scouting, assessing and selecting players for the senior Test, T20 and One-Day sides, ensuring greater connection right through the international pathway,” the ECB said.

“In line with this new integrated approach, England national selector James Whitaker will step down from his role at the end of March.

“This season will see the introduction of a scouting system with designated discipline-specific scouts, including the current ECB national lead coaches, providing information to a three-strong selection panel, made up of a new national selector, a full-time independent England selector and the England head coach.”

The new national selector’s role will be advertised this week, with the ECB looking to have a new man in place in time for the next selections in mid-May before the Test series against Pakistan.

“Current England selectors Angus Fraser and Mick Newell will remain in place until new positions have been filled and are free to apply for the new roles,” the ECB added.

Director of England Cricket Andrew Strauss said the overhaul was not related to recent results but a formalised scouting network would help the ECB gather more knowledge about a particular player’s strengths.

“The new approach will allow us to see more players throughout the county game, more often, and simplify the selection process,” Strauss said.

“We will have a greater body of information, deeper insight into the talent we can pick and a better understanding of who to help develop across the red-ball and white-ball games.

“Our new national selector will co-ordinate with a full-time England selector, who will be appointed by the national selector, and the England head coach to ensure that we are scouting players throughout the pathway for England’s current and future needs.”

Whitaker said it was “an immense privilege and an honour” to have been an England selector for over a decade but the time was right for him to move on.

“I am very proud of what the team has achieved during this period and will always treasure the memory of four Ashes series wins and our first ever victory in an ICC global event,” 2010’s ICC World Twenty20, he said.

“Team England will always be close to my heart and I would like to wish Trevor Bayliss, Paul Farbrace, senior captains Eoin Morgan and Joe Root and all the players and management the very best for the future.”

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