Tuesday 16 January 2007 

Collier: We Need To Bring Back The Ashes For Fans

Speaking on Sky TV, ECB chief executive David Collier has claimed that England need to win the Ashes back in 2009 to reward the England supporters who were so disappointed by the 5-0 loss this time around.

He was quizzed about the review panel, revealing that 6 major names would make up the review panel set up to investigate the Ashes loss and provide a blueprint for the way forward, two of which are Nasser Hussain and Angus Fraser. It seems likely that two more of the unnamed members will be coaches and those people would not, according to Collier, be surprising choices and he expects the public to be 'delighted' with them.

Furthermore, he has invited the public to email and write in with their views and experiences of the Ashes tour as he sees this as a necessary and helpful step.

Asked why Ken Schofield, a Scot with a golfing background, was chosen to lead the team he described the appointment as 'ideal.' Collier defended the appointment, citing Schofield's independence, passion and love for cricket as key factors. He was adamant that Schofield represents the view of true cricket supporters.

The review team is set to publish its report in mid-March, giving the team roughly a month to publish their findings, in the course of which they will be consulting with members of the management team and players. Team England are looking to learn lessons over four-year cycles, with the big goals centred on regaining the Ashes in 2009, as well as performances at the next two World Cups.

Asked about whether heads will roll, specifically those of David Graveney and Duncan Fletcher, he was predictably evasive, claiming that with regard to Fletcher, he had no indication that the coach was going to leave, but that there were succession plans lined up for every member of the management team. Collier denied that the ECB had already started casting around for successors, instead claiming that they would wait to see what the review would recommend.

Pressed on whether the Ashes in 2009 were a certainty to return to England, he replied:

"I'd certainly hope so, we're doing everything in our power."

JP

© Cricket World 2007