Friday 5 December 2008 

New Lancashire Role For Mike Watkinson

Following a General Committee meeting at Old Trafford this afternoon, Lancashire County Cricket Club has appointed Mike Watkinson as the club’s Director of Cricket with immediate effect.

As Director of Cricket, Mike will continue to head up all aspects of cricket in the county, from grass roots through to its professional pinnacle, but will also play a more active role in the Management Team at the Cricket Club. As part of this restructure, the club will appoint a First Team Coach who will be responsible for the First Team set up and its players.

Over the past two years, Lancashire has made changes to the General Committee and Management Executive to reflect the changing pace of the business and to ensure the club has the right structure and skills required to manage the affairs of a leading County Cricket Club.

The speed of change on the business side, has also been reflected in the demands and additional responsibilities the Cricket Department have had to embrace as the game of cricket has become a more professional and dynamic product.

On making the appointment, Lancashire Chairman Michael Cairns said: “Over the last 12 months, there has been a modernisation of the way the club operates in terms of the Committee, and on the Executive side a restructuring has meant that we now have a Commercial Director and Finance and Operations Director.

“In order to ensure the core business of the club, which is cricket, keeps up with the pace of change the next logical step, was to appoint a Director with specific responsibility for all cricket aspects of the club. With his long-standing association with the club and his knowledge of all aspects of cricket in the county, Mike Watkinson was seen as the ideal person to fill this role.”

Mike Watkinson said: “County Cricketers are now full-time professionals and require more time, more resources and more structure than ever before to help with their own development and performance. At the other end of the scale you now have strict employment laws, appraisals, contracts, agents, and all the other important administration that needs to be dealt with on a daily basis.”

“The scope of my role as Cricket Manager has increased considerably over the last 12-18 months due to the demands of modern day cricket and the modern player. I see this as a positive move for the club to give the team of players the resources that they need to perform to their best, and it’s a good opportunity for me to spread my involvement through different areas of cricket within the club and the county.

“It doesn’t mean I will be trading the tracksuit for a business suit, as I will still be coaching and continuing to do many of the things I’ve done before but on a more occasional basis, and this includes providing as much support as I can to the new First Team Coach, and the professional set up as a whole.

“Many changes have taken place at the club in the past few months and there is a real air of excitement as we prepare for the new season. This is why we are hoping to appoint a First Team Coach as soon as possible, giving that person the time to work with and have an influence over the squad for the new season.”

© Lancashire CCC