Sky pundit Rob Key emerges as shock candidate to become England’s cricket director

Andrew Strauss is currently acting as interim managing director of the England cricket team after Ashley Giles was sacked after a 4-0 loss to Ashes last month

Sky Sports commentator and former England batsman Rob Key is an unlikely contender to become England's chief executive
Sky Sports commentator and former England batsman Rob Key is an unlikely contender to become England’s chief executive

former England Batsman Rob Key has emerged as an unlikely candidate as England’s new chief executive.

With England currently away on a three Test tour in the West Indies, the role is currently being filled by Andrew Strauss on a transitional basis. Strauss was charged with appointing someone to the position full-time after Ashley Giles was fired last month.

Giles, 49, fell on his sword after another horrific display Down Under Ash, with Australia to a 4-0 win. England’s recent draws at Antigua and Barbados are breaking their current streak en route to Wednesday’s final game in Grenada, meaning a run of just one win in 16 Tests.

Giles, 49, wasn’t the only victim. Head coach Chris Silverwood was firedwith Paul Collingwood currently temporarily in charge while beating the guru Graham Thorpe was dropped after the last test in Hobart.

Alec Stewart has emerged as the likely favorite for the managing director position but confirmed this week he would not be taking on the position for personal reasons. The former England goalkeeper-batsman will remain in Surrey as cricket director.

Now Key, who made 15 Tests for his country and hit 221 against the West Indies in 2004, has loudly confirmed his interest in the role MailSport. In fact, the Sky Sports pundit has already hinted at how he would go about things after analyzing Giles’ removal earlier this year.

England’s interim managing director Sir Andrew Strauss


Gareth Copley/Getty Images)

“In this new era we will likely opt for a split coaching setup with one coach for Test cricket and one for white ball cricket, while we will likely have some sort of selection panel back,” he said. “This is the complete opposite of what Silverwood was asked to do. He was given an impossible task.”

ECB chiefs have been accused of neglecting Test cricket in favor of white-ball teams, with Eoin Morgan’s team currently ranked among the best in the world in ODI and T20 formats. The shift in focus followed a dismal 50-over World Championship in 2015, a decision that seemed justified four years later as England captured the trophy on home soil.

Key is a popular figure in English football and an icon at Kent, where he spent 18 years. Between 1998 and 2016, he accumulated more than 19,000 first-class runs for the county.

Given his lack of managerial experience, he would no doubt be considered a left-wing choice, but Strauss himself served as executive director between 2015 and 2018 after working as a pundit. During this time, the left-hander has earned a reputation for not shying away from difficult decisions.

Other potential candidates include former national selector Ed Smith, originally called up to the role by Strauss, and former Australia Testers Tom Moody and Marcus North. The two are currently directors of cricket in Sri Lanka and Durham respectively.

After the series in the West IndiesEnglish host New Zealand, South Africaand India in tests this year. The game against India is a one-off after the last game of the series was postponed in 2021, with the Tourists leading the series 2-1.

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