The search for Andrew Strauss’ successor as director of England cricket will formally begin on Friday, with a job description that tallies with leading candidates such as Alec Stewart, Clare Connor and Ashley Giles.
Strauss revealed earlier this month he would be stepping down from his role to support his wife Ruth’s ongoing cancer treatment and the position will now be advertised in association with headhunters SRI.
The process will be led by the England and Wales Cricket Board’s chief executive Tom Harrison, working closely with Strauss, with the intention of having somebody in place before January’s tour of the West Indies.
The prospect of a left-field candidate emerging from outside the sport seems remote, with international or first-class playing experience understood to be listed as a ‘desirable’ qualification alongside a handful of ‘required’ attributes.
They include a detailed knowledge of the first-class county game, experience of high-performance sport, the ability to deal comfortably with the media and a history of expert strategic planning.
The new appointee would be in charge of recruiting a head coach – or, more likely, one each for red and white-ball cricket – when Trevor Bayliss steps down next summer, as well as focusing on the environment and culture around the England squads.
Andy Flower, currently deputising for Strauss, ticks every box and has been on the ECB’s books in a variety of important roles for decade but is not thought to be interested in applying at present.
Stewart may be tempted to do so, having made a success of a similar role at Surrey. The 55-year-old is a distinguished former England captain, is used to working in a senior management role at one of the biggest counties and is fresh from overseeing the Brown Caps’ first championship title in 16 years.
Another former England captain, Connor, currently holds a parallel post as director of England Women’s cricket and boasts extensive credentials. As well as her role at the head of last year’s World Cup winners, she chairs the International Cricket Council’s women’s committee and the high-performance group involved in the ECB’s divisive new ‘Hundred’ competition.
Ashes-winning spinner Giles could also be well placed, with a CV that includes being the country’s limited-overs coach, an ECB selector and now sporting director at Warwickshire – engaged in the kind of high-end administration that would come with filling Strauss’ shoes.
Rob Andrew, former England fly-half and Rugby Football Union director, is currently working as Sussex’s chief executive and, intriguingly, played 17 first-class matches for Cambridge University in 1984/5.