Cricket: Neale appointed England manager

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The Independent Online
PHIL NEALE, named yesterday as England's general manager, intends to provide the back-up for the new coach, Duncan Fletcher, and the captain, Nasser Hussain, to enable them to concentrate fully on plotting the winter downfall of South Africa and Zimbabwe.

Neale, the outgoing Warwickshire coach , who had previous spells managing and coaching the England A and Under-19 sides, has been promoted to the senior set-up for the winter tour. He believes taking care of all the off-the-field activities will leave the new team of Fletcher and Hussain free for the daunting task of trying to overcome a South African side desperate to avenge last summer's defeat in England.

The appointment is a welcome boost for Neale, who will be replaced as Warwickshire coach for the 2000 season by Bob Woolmer. Neale brings a wealth of experience to the position. His playing career was spent with Worcestershire and he had a two-year spell as the coach of Northamptonshire before taking a similar job at Edgbaston in 1995.

Neale said: "I see the manager's role as dovetailing to fit in the gaps that other people don't have time to do or don't want to do. There is the administrative stuff, the travelling, the hotels, dealing with the host authorities in advance of the tour, all the preparations for the tour.

"I see my role as making sure Duncan and Nasser are able to concentrate fully on the cricket, that there are no obstacles dealing with off-the- field stuff, that nothing gets in the way of them being 100 per cent committed to the cricket."