England news February 12, 2014

Fraser named as new England selector

ESPNcricinfo staff

The ECB has announced that Middlesex's director of cricket, Angus Fraser, has been appointed as an England selector. He will join the national selector James Whitaker and England's ODI and T20 Head Coach Ashley Giles on the selection panel.

Fraser played 46 Tests and 42 ODIs for England in an international career that spanned almost a decade as well as representing Middlesex between 1984 and 2002. He will continue in his Middlesex role alongside his new responsibilities as a selector, which begin on March 1.

Andy Flower has indicated upon his resignation as England's team director that he will step down as a selector at some point in the future but the ECB has yet to clarify when this will be.

Fraser said: "I am chuffed to be involved and am looking forward to the challenges that lie ahead. As a player I always took great pride in representing England and I am delighted to be given another chance to contribute.

"Despite the doom and gloom after this winter's Ashes, I believe it's a really exciting time to be involved in the England set up. There is a real chance to create something and there are a lot of talented young cricketers within the county game. This new position will not affect my desire to turn Middlesex into the most competitive and respected club in the country."

Fraser has won the role ahead of other potential candidates such as John Emburey, the former England offspinner, and two former directors of cricket at Somerset and Surrey respectively - Brian Rose and Chris Adams. Marcus Trescothick was another tempting candidate, but the ECB were likely to have been reluctant to consider him while his playing career persists: too much of a nod perhaps to player power.

Whitaker, said: "I am delighted to welcome Angus Fraser on to the selection panel. Gus has been heavily involved in cricket for many years as a player and an administrator. He brings integrity and the wealth of knowledge that we will need as we look to identify the players across all formats who can thrive in the international environment."

Giles' previous position as a selector while he was also fulfilling a role as Warwickshire coach was not universally welcomed with some critics regarding it as an unfortunate dual role. It was pointed out that theoretically players on the fringe of the England side would have been better placed at Warwickshire where Giles would see them more closely and gain a greater respect for their talents.

Geoff Miller, who retired as England's chief selector at New Year when Whitaker took on the senior role, has expressed a personal view that in an ideal world, selectors should have neither a direct and current association with a county or a role within the media.

The ECB has always remained impervious to such theoretical issues, preferring to put their trust in the integrity of those appointed. Given an opportunity to quietly change their policy, they have shown the same faith in Fraser as they previously did in Giles. Even the most implacable opponents to such job conflicts will recognise that if there have to be conflicts then it is best that they are conflicts addressed by men widely respected for their honest dealing.

Middlesex were also quick to applaud Fraser's recognition. Ian Lovett, Middlesex's chairman, said: "Angus' appointment receives the full support of the Middlesex executive board, safe in the knowledge that Angus's commitment to achieving the goals he has set himself and the Middlesex squad remain firmly in place."

There is no doubt that Fraser has a strong knowledge of England's professional circuit and that his judgment of a player will be based on sound principles. He will bring an earthy realism to the selectors' table and ensure that there is not too much fanciful thinking during a period of considerable change.

He has always been widely regarded within the ECB and was among those seriously considered for the role of managing director of England cricket - a role eventually awarded to Paul Downton - before he decided he did not want to relinquish his day-to-day contact with the game at Middlesex.

He might also have a problem closer to home If Fraser the selector sits on a panel which decides to bring Eoin Morgan back into England's Test as well as one-day sides, Fraser the Middelsex team director will have to consider whether Morgan's recent appointment as Middlesex's one-day captain remains a workable solution.

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  • Dummy4 on February 14, 2014, 22:59 GMT

    @SirViv1973 - I think the issue is that the team director spends so much time with England, and so much time touring that he doesn't get a chance to see other potential players on the county circuit. Hence you need other voices on the selection panel who have an opportunity to watch other potential players and get new faces into the England camp.

  • Dummy4 on February 12, 2014, 22:29 GMT

    Finally, someone in the England set-up who understands fast bowling.

  • xxxxx on February 12, 2014, 20:58 GMT

    Surprising that Fraser played only 46 tests. It seems like he played almost that number against Aus and more often than not ended up with a bunch of wickets. He was one of my favourites and always played in a wholehearted, reliable and honest fashion - qualities that should make for success in the normally thankless role of a selector.

  • Peter on February 12, 2014, 16:29 GMT

    Michael Vaughan should be involved with England, as should Paul Collingwood, there seems to be a club of ex pros who get the jobs and a kind of 'if your name's not down, you're not coming in' attitude

  • Rob on February 12, 2014, 16:06 GMT

    Does seem a bit like Fraser, and also Giles, are in the "in club" of people who are preferred for this kind of job...what's wrong with other successful coaches like Mick Newell, senior county pros like Tresco, or recent ex-players like Mark Butcher or Alec Stewart?

  • Lee on February 12, 2014, 14:55 GMT

    Although his affiliation with Middlesex is a slight concern, I think he's a good appointment. Good cricket brain, and isn't afraid to speak his mind. I wonder what he thinks about the whole KP issue... Regarding Flower, when he left his role as England Team Director, he also left his role as selector by default.

  • Dummy4 on February 12, 2014, 13:51 GMT

    What about Flower? Will he step down from the panel now that Fraser is on it?

  • Dean on February 12, 2014, 13:35 GMT

    I have no issues with Gus Fraser as an individual & having played a decent amount of International cricket he is far better qualified to be involved in selecting the national team than someone like Whitaker. However I think the question is do we still need a selection panel at all? If as seems likley Giles is confirmed as Team Director then shouldn't the responsibilty of selecting the team fall to him? That way the ECB save some money & the director, players & coaching staff are the ones who are accountable when things go wrong or when things go well they get the praise. There isn't any other sports were you have a selection panel. In sports like Football & Rugby the head coach/Manager would no doubt have some input from assistant coaches when selecting the team but the final decison rests with the man at the top.

  • Dummy4 on February 12, 2014, 13:24 GMT

    Considering how unfairly he was treated during his career, he will ensure the same experience will not be suffered by players during his tenure. A good choice, I see him frequently at my school cricket club, Old Merchant Taylors, where Middx have started to play. He is a sound person and with his influence Ravi Patel, another Old Merchant Taylor whoalso plays for Middx will make it into the national side as we need a proper left arm spinner!

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