Rob Key, the former England batter and current cricket commentator, has been appointed by the ECB to be the Managing Director of England Men's Cricket. Key will be responsible for the England Men's strategy and performance pathways as well as a key figure in the high-performance review initiated by Andrew Strauss. He retired from playing cricket in 2016, but his new job will begin immediately.
Indeed, Key had not held an administrative position previously, but he was among the favourites to be the next chairman of the PCB. After reports this week that Marcus North dropped out of consideration, Key's path to the job seemed clear.
The English Cricket Board (ECB) is currently in a state of flux following former England Test captain Joe Root’s resignation on Friday. The ECB also lacks an elected chairperson. Key will have to oversee the recruitment of a new head coach while taking charge of the men’s game.
"It is an absolute honour to take up this position,” Key said. “I have always followed the team in the background and it will be a chance to have an impact and make a difference."
"The chance to have an impact and make a difference is given to very few, and I will give it everything I have to try shape the next great era of English men's cricket."
"I have absolutely loved my time at Sky, and I couldn't be more grateful to Bryan Henderson and the rest of the team for their help and support."
I have had a challenging time in English cricket, but it has also been exciting. Currently we have 2 of our teams in the top 10 of the world rankings with much talent in the game. I hope to write posts and bring you along my journey of raising up English men’s cricket across formats.
Key will be taking on the responsibility of leading England's cricket team after the departure of Alastair Cook. Cook, who was appointed to the position in 2015, left in 2018 following a 4-0 Ashes defeat to Australia. After the Caribbean series, Joe Root stepped down as captain in the wake of another 4-0 series defeat.
England lost to Pakistan for the fifth series in a row, putting them at the bottom of the World Test Championship table. The lack of wins is causing concern, with calls to make the long form of the game a priority. When interviewed, Andrew Strauss said that the high-performance review will include a goal of making England the best in all formats, although he didn't specify how.
The ECB has announced the appointment of Keaton Key as England’s new director of cricket. Key played in all formats of the game and is capped at international level. Tom Harrison, CEO of the ECB, praised his "approachable nature" and "fresh original thinking".
"Key also pays tribute to Strauss for his involvement."
Rob has one of the most fascinating and competitive industries with a lot of moving pieces. I think he’ll be great at it because he’s been in a lot of different positions and is really passionate about the game. Plus, his experience and original thinking will be a great asset to this team. He will bring a lot to the role and I know players and staff will enjoy working with him.
"We would first like to thank Andrew for agreeing to step in as interim Head of Cricket. His experience and skillsets were invaluable during the transition and recruitment process. Andrew will remain a huge asset to English and Welsh Cricket."