New Man at Top Targets Journeyman Imports

The Journal (Newcastle, England), October 14, 2004 | Go to article overview

New Man at Top Targets Journeyman Imports


Byline: By Mike Sinclair

Producing young cricketers for England is a major priority for David Collier who was appointed chief executive of the England and Wales Cricket Board yesterday.

Collier will explore the possibility of limiting the number of overseas players in English county cricket as part of a strategic plan for the game which he has pledged to deliver before the start of next season.

But the 49-year-old chief executive of Nottinghamshire, who succeeds Tim Lamb, insists there should be no streamlining of the county game by reducing the 18 teams playing in the county championship.

He believes all have a vital role to play in producing young players and marketing the game to a wider audience.

"I am a passionate believer that a successful England team is our greatest asset. That is the benchmark by which most customers measure our success," said Collier, whose son Simon ( one of three children ( is reading geography at Durham University.

"But the fact English cricket has one of the most vibrant international match audiences is no coincidence.

"I know from my own experience at Trent Bridge that the surrounding counties like Derbyshire and Leicestershire and the minor counties contribute significantly to those audiences.

"I want to see the counties used as marketing arms and development arms of the game."

He maintains that to continue the English cricket revival beyond next summer's Ashes series against Australia, it is paramount to develop young talent.

Said Collier: "We have 38 county boards and it is absolutely critical that young players can get to a centre of excellence to benefit from the best coaches. Youth cricket is the future of the game. It delivers our heroes of tomorrow, it delivers our spectators of tomorrow.

"We have to engage Government, Sport England and UK Sport, all of our commercial partners and a significant proportion of our own resources to find and provide opportunities for our young players. …

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