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October 2, 2007
In the wake of England's 5-0 Ashes humiliation in January and their subsequent early exit from the World Cup in the Caribbean, Ken Schofield, the former chief of the European PGA Tour, was commissioned to chair an inquest into the state of English cricket.
He drew up a list of 19 recommendations, chief among which was: "The establishment of a new management structure within the ECB with full accountability and responsibility for the selection and performance of the England cricket team."
Morris, who played in two Tests for England in 1991, has been the ECB's deputy chief executive since December 2005. He was also a member of the seven-man Schofield committee, having retired from playing in 1995 to take up a role of technical coaching director with the ECB. His new role gives him responsibility for all aspects of England team affairs - including the thorny issue of discipline, which was addressed last week by the incoming ECB chairman, Giles Clarke.
The selection of players with injury problems would also come into Morris's remit - a problem that has become especially acute in recent months given Andrew Flintoff's ongoing struggle with his ankle. By acting as a liaison between the players and the head coach, the intention is that players would be better placed to admit to injuries without jeopardising future selection.
Gatting, who played in 79 Tests and captained England on their last victorious Ashes tour in 1986-87, has been handed the role of Managing Director Cricket Partnerships, which will cover first-class as well as recreational cricket, with a view to enhancing communications between the various levels of the game.
Connor, who retired in 2006, succeeds Gill McConway as the Head of Women's Cricket and will represent ECB on the ICC Women's Committee. It promises to be a tough act to follow. McConway is responsible for such innovations as the Super Fours - which were credited with assisting in boosting England to No. 2 in the world - as well as finding the team a permanent home at Taunton and bringing about the deal for the team buses to be England-branded - an innovation which was taken on board by England men and the England boys Under-19s.
ECB chief executive, David Collier, said: 'I am delighted that Hugh, Mike and Clare have accepted these positions. Their experience as captain of their counties and England together with their knowledge of the Cricket Foundation, Chance to Shine, Club cricket and the Lord's and Lady Taverners will greatly strengthen the Cricket Department within ECB. These appointments were recommended within the England Review and approved by the Board this summer."
© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.
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