Ed Smith, the former Kent captain turned journalist, has been named as the new National Selector.
Smith played three Test matches for England in 2003, and made 350 appearances in county cricket across a first-class career that spanned 12 years.
He has since forged a varied career in the media, including stints as a commentator on the BBC's Test Match Special, a leader writer for The Times, and a column for ESPNcricinfo. He is also the author of several books, including "Playing Hard Ball", an autobiographical account of a foray into baseball, and "Luck: What It Means and Why It Matters".
His appointment comes amid a restructuring of England's selection process, with a greater emphasis on scouting, assessing and selecting players for the Test, T20 and ODI sides.
Smith succeeds James Whitaker, whose tenure ended last month, and he will appoint a full-time independent England Selector to work alongside him and England Head Coach Trevor Bayliss, with his first squad due to be selected ahead of the Lord's Test against Pakistan, starting on May 24.
"I'm delighted to take on the role of National Selector," said Smith. "I was very happy with what I was doing previously but the chance to be at the forefront of this development in English cricket was too good an opportunity to turn down.
"Selection and Talent ID have always fascinated me and I've explored extensively how they are evolving.
"It is an exciting time for England cricket. I'm very much looking forward to working with Trevor, Joe [Root] and Eoin [Morgan], as we work towards ensuring that the talent in English cricket feeds into consistent performances in all formats of the game."
"Ed stood out as an ideal candidate for the role for a number of reasons," said Andrew Strauss, Director of England Cricket. "There is real depth to his talent identification knowledge and he's done a great amount of research into the subject.
"He has a rich and varied sum of experiences having played professional cricket for 12 years and having written extensively on cricket and other sports. As well as this he has a strong academic interest in high performance and excellent knowledge of the international game.
"Ed will come to this role with fresh ideas and his input will help us implement a structure that we hope can become world-leading, not just in cricket but in sport generally.
"We're excited about the changes we've made to our talent identification and selection structure. It's about us getting better quality information, and making sure our decision-making is as clear and robust as possible."