Cricket: Selection panel backed beyond millennium

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The Independent Online
England yesterday consolidated their approach to attempting to improve their international prospects by extending the contracts of their selection panel to the millennium.

The chairman, David Graveney, and selectors Graham Gooch and Mike Gatting, whose agreements with the England and Wales Cricket Board were all due to end prior to the 1999 World Cup but have now been installed beyond that after a unanimous vote of confidence by England's Management Advisory Committee at Lord's yesterday.

It is a further indication of the ECB's policy to maintain continuity both within the international team and among the back-up personnel prior to the 1999 World Cup in England.

Separate squads for Tests and one-day internationals have already been identified with Adam Hollioake underlining the wisdom of the policy by leading England to a spectacular Champions' Trophy success in Sharjah last weekend.

The coach, David Lloyd, initially appointed at the start of the 1996 season, has also had his contract extended beyond the World Cup. Physiotherapist Wayne Morton and fitness consultant Dean Riddle complete England's back- room staff.

"We are delighted with the progress we are making at international level, so it is quite right that we should recognise that progress by rewarding the selectors for their efforts," said Tim Lamb, the ECB's chief executive.

Graveney and Gooch, whose current contracts were due to end in February 1999, have been reappointed for a further six months.

Gooch is due to depart as manager of the A team touring Kenya and Sri Lanka on December 29. Gatting, whose contract ran to February of next year, has been reappointed for a further two years and will coach the A team on the tour.