Cricket: Over to England selectors

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The Independent Online
NOW that Ted Dexter has vacated the post of national Aunt Sally, English cricket will this week attempt to make it even less simple for its disgruntled followers to know exactly who to moan about the next time the Test team come off the rails.

Dexter used to carry the can in his role as chairman of the England committee, but the Test and County Cricket Board is currently meeting at Lord's with a view to knocking Dexter's old 'supremo' role on the head, and creating a clear distinction between those responsible for infrastructure and the people who pick the Test team.

The England committee, probably without a Dexter-like figurehead, will largely involve itself with strategy and management, while the selectors will be a separate body answerable for results. This is the way forward as viewed by the 18 counties, who have been sulking and snorting ever since Dexter's committee was formed in 1989 without their voting approval.

The counties are demanding a bigger say in the running of the Test team, although their disgruntlement has not stretched to any of them subjugating their own self-interest to that of the national team, nor indeed returning their cheques/hand-outs (for more than pounds 500,000 each) generated entirely through England receipts and spin-offs.

The England team is making substantial sums of money (albeit not too much for the players themselves). There is, for example, more money to be made through rivalry for television rights between BSkyB, who have an exclusive deal for live cricket in the West Indies this winter, and the BBC.

The one issue certain to be resolved this week will be the reversion of the Sunday League from 50 overs back to 40.