Vaughan, Stewart eye England cricket role

Ashes-winning captain Michael Vaughan and former skipper Alec Stewart have both expressed an interest in taking on the newly created post of director of England cricket.

The England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) announced the new position on Wednesday as Paul Downton lost his job as their managing director of cricket, with his post also scrapped.

Vaughan, who led England to their 2005 Ashes home triumph, was immediately linked with the new role, with recently installed ECB chief executive Tom Harrison eager to have Downton’s successor concentrate solely on cricket performance rather than administration.

This has led to the names of several former England captains being touted for the job, with Vaughan and Stewart, currently Surrey’s director of cricket, both being mentioned.

But were Vaughan to take up the job, he would have to put on hold his successful career as a media pundit and, in his column for Thursday’s Daily Telegraph, he said he would need to know more about the ECB’s intentions.

“It will take honesty and unity to make a change. In (incoming ECB chairman) Colin Graves and Tom Harrison, we have a chance to change English cricket and admit our problems,” Vaughan wrote.

“Let us finally do it. Stop looking at what your own county needs and ask what is best for English cricket moving forward and what is right for the England team to sustain a proper period of success.

“For the first time since retiring six years ago, I am open to a conversation with the ECB. I am passionate about English cricket. I love the game and I always want England to move forward and be successful.

“I have a vision for the game and I think I will be one of many ex-players who will be more than willing to talk to the ECB to see what exactly the role is and how much influence it will wield over the future structure of our game.

“The brief has to be wider and more powerful than Paul’s to have any real impact on England.”

Stewart echoed Vaughan’s comments by saying on Thursday he needed to know the job specification.

“The first question is what does the job entail? What is the job description?” asked Stewart.

“I’ve always been passionate about England and English cricket and if the ECB want to speak to me, of course I’ll speak to them,” the former wicketkeeper-batsman added.

“It would certainly be a job, if it’s the right job, where you’d be silly not to listen to them.

“That’s not just me, that’s anybody within the game who feels they could make a difference at the top level.”

In 15 months at the ECB, Downton played a key role in the highly controversial axing of star batsman Kevin Pietersen after the 2013/14 Ashes whitewash in Australia, and his watch also coincided with England’s group-stage exit at the recent World Cup in Australia and New Zealand.

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