Chairman spells it out to the players

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The Independent Online
Lord MacLaurin, the new England Cricket Board's chairman, again outlined his vision for the future of English cricket, updating the Board's plan to reorganise the game, writes Derek Pringle.

Following on from the pointers he gave in Zimbabwe, MacLaurin was again keen to stress the need for players to realise the importance of England's performances at Test level.

"Wearing the crown and three lions should be the greatest honour of their lives," he said before play had got underway. "I expect them to die for that.''

On a less emotive level, however, he felt that England players were ill- prepared for the roles expected of them in the corporate and televised age of modern sport. "We need to help them and educate them in so many ways and make them better people," he said. "We have a big responsibility to help them do the job to the best of their ability, because unless money comes in at the highest level, nothing filters down.''

Tim Lamb, the ECB's chief executive, who is in New Zealand alongside MacLaurin, also announced that England's new chairman of selectors would be chosen in mid-March.

He said several candidates had already been put forward, and that the choice made by Bob Bennett's newly formed England management committee would not need to be ratified by the full Board.

Lamb and MacLaurin are also involved in a busy consultative process as they formulate a blueprint to take English cricket forward in a more business- like fashion.