County news October 25, 2008

Fraser set for Middlesex challenge

Cricinfo staff

As expected, the former England fast bowler Angus Fraser has agreed terms with his former club, Middlesex, to become their director of cricket.

Fraser, who enjoyed a distinguished career with the club, has been a cricket correspondent with the Independent since he retired in 2002. But he appears ready for the challenge of trying to rebuild his old county after several years of infighting and a decade-and-a-half of failure.

It was their one real success - victory in last summer's Twenty20 Cup - that stalled a proposed members' revolt, but that aside, 2008 was another poor summer, with bad results exacerbated by increasing rumours of disharmony in the dressing room. Off the field, there is no club sponsor after the deal with Northern Rock was, understandably, not renewed.

Behind the scenes the club is trying to restructure, with the old committee hierarchy being swept aside and replaced with Fraser as a new supremo, responsible for all things to do with cricket.

"We haven't finalised everything yet, he's gone on holiday and we're in Antigua and we expect to sign contracts when we get home," Vinny Codrington, the Middlesex chief executive, told the club's website. "As it became fairly public knowledge we wanted to confirm that he's the man we want and that we have agreed terms with Gus to start the role in January. Gus is Middlesex through and through, and he's been a great journalist for the Independent and I'm sure they'll be very sorry to lose him and we'll be very fortunate to have him.

"It's not a tracksuit job, it's not about being in the first-team dressing room, it's not going to step on Toby Radford's toes," Codrington added, in an interview with BBC radio. "But he is going to be ultimately responsible for everything that is Middlesex cricket and that will be everything from the first team to grass roots.

"He's not going to wave a magic wand and our cricket is going to be brilliant, there's clearly a lot that needs to be done.

"We've got to make sure that Gus is given the tools for the job and is allowed to get on with the job and everyone associated with Middlesex from me to the members and committee have got to be patient."

Fraser's first job was to rubber-stamp Shaun Udal's position as captain for the rest of 2008 and 2009.