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Alec Stewart in the frame for national selector role

Alec Stewart has emerged as the frontrunner to become England’s new national selector.

Stewart, who has spent the past eight years as cricket director in Surrey, is believed to be highly regarded by Rob Key, the director of the England team, given his detailed knowledge of the county circuit and the talent in it, and his own success in young nurturing talent at Surrey.

The national selector role was discontinued in April 2021, when Key’s predecessor, Ashley Giles, relinquished the services of previous incumbent Ed Smith and handed selection duties to then-head coach of all formats, Chris Silverwood.

However, the subsequent collapse in England’s form, culminating in a run of one win in 17 Tests to the start of Brendon McCullum’s tenure as head coach in May 2022, has prompted a rethink, with Key being adamant from the start of his appointment. to restore the roll.

Key’s decision to split the red and white coach roles – with McCullum and Ben Stokes now leading the test team, with Matthew Mott and Jos Buttler the coach-captain combination for the limited overs formats – arguably increases the need for an independent selector to coordinate the priorities of the two formats.

Stewart, 59, was one of the names on the list for the MD role that eventually went to Key, but withdrew his interest for family reasons. However, the role of the selector, who is expected to take less time away from home, will likely be more appealing as he weighs his next career move.

Other names mentioned in connection with the role include former English players turned commentators Nick Knight, Steven Finn and Steve Harmison, with possible scope for the nomination of an assistant selector, similar to the role James Taylor will play alongside Smith. played .

The appointed person will work closely with Mo Bobat, the ECB’s performance director, and David Court, the ECB’s talent identification leader, as well as a team of talent scouts in and around the 18 premier provinces.

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