Angus Fraser, cricket correspondent of the Independent, is one of the seven-strong panel tasked by the ECB to review England performances during the period 2003-7. The ECB are expecting the group, under the chairmanship of former PGA Tour director Ken Schofield, to make recommendations by March for improvements for England to “regain the Ashes in 2009 and win an ICC global one-day event during the period 2007-11”.
ECB review panel: Ken Schofield (chairman), Nasser Hussain, Nick Knight, Angus Fraser, Hugh Morris, Mickey Stewart, Brian Rose.
The ECB have announced the terms of reference in these words:
1) To review objectively the strengths and weaknesses of Team England during the period 2003-7 and in particular to examine accountability for management in home series versus tours;
2) To review objectively the performance of Team England versus the other nine Full Member nations during the period 2003-7;
3) To review the talent identification, player pathway, selection and development of Team England and England development squad players and to make recommendations concerning how the process could be enhanced;
4) To review objectively and analyse England players’ workload during the period 2003-7 and projected workload through to May 2012 (end of current ICC Future Tours Programme cycle), making recommendations as to how the question of player availability can best be managed to facilitate the fielding of the strongest possible England teams;
5) To review the accountability for Team England performance and to make recommendations concerning how the structure, including selection and the International Teams Management Group, could be enhanced and how Team England should report and be accountable to the Board;
6) To review the performance of Team England management, including selection and the role of the captain and to make recommendations concerning how performance could be enhanced;
7) To review and define the respective responsibilities of the head coach and captain and to recommend how they can best combine to the benefit of the England team;
8) To review the management of and benefits from England central contracts and identify whether further benefits can be derived by making enhancements to the current system;
9) To review the playing programme and interface with county and England A cricket and make recommendations concerning how the England team can be best prepared for competition;
10) To review the balance of quality coaching time dedicated to EDS
and Team England players and to make recommendations concerning the appropriate balance between coaching and match involvement;
11) To review whether the target/goal of England being ranked in the top two nations in world cricket is compatible with the goal of regaining the Ashes in 2009 and winning an ICC global one-day event prior to 2011;
12) To make recommendations which will best position Team England to regain the Ashes in 2009 and win an ICC global one-day event.
ECB chairman David Morgan said: “The Board has determined that this Review forms a critical element of ECB’s planning for the four-year cycle, which commences immediately after the 2007 World Cup.”
CHARLIE SAYS: The terms are so onerous and wide-ranging I cannot see the panel coming up with any major changes. England’s playing work load is dictated by the ICC. There is no point reducing county cricket, because international players do not compete on the circuit anyway. More representative England A matches at home would help groom fringe players, who get a raw deal from the England coach at the moment. If England do regain the Ashes, it will because they will not be facing Warne and McGrath.