Tuesday 16 January 2007 

Former Golf Chief Schofield Heads Up Ashes Review

Former European golf supremo Ken Schofield will head an independent committee examining England's Ashes whitewash and how to win back the urn in 2009, the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) said on Tuesday.

Schofield, who retired from his role as executive director of the European Tour in 2004, will chair a six-man team that also includes former England skipper Nasser Hussain and fast bowler Angus Fraser.

The ECB agreed earlier this month to a comprehensive review of the structure of Team England in the aftermath of the feeble defence of the Ashes in Australia, although the choice of a former golf administrator to lead it comes as a surprise.

"I've been appointed as an independent voice and I'll do the job without fear or favour. We have access to all areas and we know we have to think quickly on our feet," Schofield was quoted as saying in the Guardian.

"My passion for cricket is almost as strong as it is for golf and I'm honoured to be asked."

England lost the latest series 5-0, just 15 months after defeating Australia at home to win the Ashes back for the first time since losing them in 1989.

"The committee's job is to produce a long-term plan, including recommendations on how to regain the urn in 2009 and seal a one-day tournament success between now and 2011," the ECB said on its Web site (www.ecb.co.uk).

The independent assessment will be submitted to Lord's prior to England's home series later this year, although meetings are planned before the team sets off for the World Cup.

Under Schofield's leadership the European Tour experienced a huge growth in events and prize money while the European Ryder Cup team has gone from strength to strength.


© Reuters 2007