England appoint Rob Key as new managing director of men's cricket

England announce the appointment of Rob Key as their new managing director of men’s cricket… with the former international leaving his role at Sky Sports and insisting ‘I will give it everything I have’

  • Former England batter Rob Key had previously expressed an interest in the job
  • Key is to succeed Ashley Giles, and will appoint a new Test captain and coach
  • During his playing career he amassed over 28,000 runs with 60 centuries
  • Key will be responsible for the strategy behind the England Men’s cricket teams  

Rob Key has been challenged to return English cricket to the top of the international game as the ECB’s new managing director.

Key, 42, leaves his role with Sky Sports immediately after being identified as the man to help fulfil Andrew Strauss’ vision of England ranking number one in all formats.

The first tasks in his in-tray will be to appoint a new Test captain – Ben Stokes is overwhelming favourite – following Joe Root’s resignation on Friday and to work with Strauss, who has held the MD role temporarily since Ashley Giles was sacked in the aftermath of a 4-0 Ashes defeat, to put together a new set of coaching personnel.

Rob Key has been confirmed as the new Managing Director of England Men’s Cricket

‘It is an absolute honour to take up this role. The chance to have an impact and make a difference is an opportunity given to very few and I will give it everything I have to try shape the next great era of English men’s cricket,’ said Key.

‘Although at this current moment it has been a challenging time in English cricket, I also think it’s as exciting a time as I can remember.

‘With two of our teams near or at the top of the world rankings and an undoubted amount of talent in our game, I hope to try and bring everyone along for the ride so we can all help take (it) to new heights across all formats.’

While England remain among the favourites for this year’s Twenty20 World Cup, and are champions in the 50-over format, it is the slide in Test cricket that has seen the team win just once in 17 matches and plunge to the bottom of the World Test Championship that is the cause for greatest concern.

Strauss is leading a high-performance review in a bid to improve the structure from bottom to top and Key’s input will play a major part in any changes going forward.

Strauss has said that it will take bold thinking to alter the fortunes in the most traditional format as England have enjoyed just one 12-month period as the world’s number one Test side since 1980.

During his playing career, Key (pictured) amassed over 28,000 runs with 60 centuries

The former Kent captain, capped 21 times by England, will also need to address the futures of bowling greats Jimmy Anderson and Stuart Broad, who were omitted from the tour of West Indies last month and have had no contact from the ECB hierarchy in the meantime.

Key has no management experience but has sat on the ECB’s cricket committee previously and is a well respected figure in the game.

‘His passion and knowledge of the game at domestic and international level is outstanding,’ said ECB chief executive Tom Harrison.

‘He is a proven leader and combines an approachable nature with fresh original thinking and resilience which will stand him in good stead.

‘He will bring a lot to the role and I am sure players and staff alike will enjoy working with Rob. I have no doubt he will relish the challenge before us.’ 

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