Paul Downton appointed as new ECB managing director

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Morris and Miller both stepped down from their respective positions

After weeks of speculation over who would succeed Hugh Morris as the England and Wales Cricket Board’s (ECB) new managing director, it was revealed today that Paul Downton had been appointed to the post.

Later on in the day, the ECB also noted that Geoff Miller had stepped down as national selector and he would be replaced by James Whitaker.

Downton represented England in 30 Test matches and 28 ODIs, while Whitaker, who played one Test and two ODIs, spent 16 years playing county cricket with Leicestershire.

ECB chief executive David Collier praised Miller for his “exceptional” service and noted that he had “developed an excellent relationship with the counties and with the England management team”.

“England cricket owes a great debt of gratitude to Geoff for the outstanding contribution he has made to the game and to the fortunes of our national team,” Collier said. “James Whitaker brings experience and continuity having been a selector since 2008 and we are convinced he will continue the excellent selection process which Geoff has led so efficiently.”

Collier also welcomed Downton aboard.

“Paul’s record of success both on and off the field made him the outstanding candidate to replace Hugh Morris. His experience of a World Cup final, Ashes success, six County Championship wins and 58 international appearances for England provides a wealth of cricket experience,” Collier said. “His background in law when coupled with his experience in the City provides the unique set of skills which is required to lead and manage the England cricket department’ s £100 million budget over the next four years. Paul will inherit a thriving team England operation, which has been exceptionally well led by Hugh Morris and the ECB wishes Hugh every success in his new role at Glamorgan CCC.”

Downton, who made an appearance for England in the 1987 World Cup final and two Ashes series as well, revealed that he was “honoured to have been offered this position”.

“I am honoured to have been offered this position and the trust which the ECB has placed in me to lead our national teams,” Downton said. “Since retiring from the game I have taken a close interest in both county and international cricket and I am excited by the challenge of building on the success which England teams have enjoyed at all levels in recent years. My discussions during the appointment process with the chairman, chief executive, the England team director and one-day coach have provided me with a clear vision of the importance attached to this role and I look forward to forging close and successful working relationships with my new colleagues at ECB.”

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