England national selector Whitaker steps down in ECB shake-up

The ECB has announced changes to the selection process for the senior men's England teams, leading to James Whitaker's departure.

Departing England national selector James Whitaker   -  Getty Images

England national selector James Whitaker will step down from his role at the end of March as the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) alter their approach to assessing the senior Test, one-day and T20 players.

Whitaker has been a selector for over a decade and took on the chief role in 2013.

A new system will be put in place that will see scouts report to a three-person selection panel made up of a new national selector, an independent selector and the England head coach.

The ECB aims to have a new national selector in place for May's Test series with Pakistan, while selectors Angus Fraser and Mick Newell will remain in their current roles until new posts have been filled.

Director Andrew Strauss said: "The new approach will allow us to see more players throughout the county game, more often, and simplify the selection process.

"We will have a greater body of information, deeper insight into the talent we can pick and a better understanding of who to help develop across the red-ball and white-ball games.

"The game now requires our teams to play more often, at a higher intensity, in a range of conditions and across different formats.

"A formalised scouting network will help us to be more aware of players' strengths and, as they will be seen more often by more people, they will have a greater opportunity to impress."

On Whitaker's departure, he added: "I want to express my personal gratitude to James, as well as the heartfelt thanks of the ECB, for his hard work and dedication over a number of years.

"His has been a critical role and one that he has fulfilled with distinction during a period where the game has evolved at domestic and international level. We cannot thank him enough for his calm leadership and commitment and wish him the very best for his next step.

"We have been considering this for some time and now is the right moment to make the change. The last year has been exceptionally busy for all the men's teams and this decision is not related to results."

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