Graveney passed over as Miller steps into selector's role

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The Independent Online

David Graveney yesterday became the first, and so far only, victim of the Schofield Report, when he was overlooked for the job of national selector in favour of his deputy, Geoff Miller.

The former Derbyshire, Essex and England off-spinning all-rounder will preside over a four-man panel comprising himself, England coach Peter Moores and two part-time selectors, Ashley Giles and James Whitaker.

"It's an honour and a privilege," said Miller, who played in 34 Tests for England between 1976 and 1984. "I will approach it in my own way but I have learned a great deal from David Graveney."

The appointments of Giles and Whitaker, who have both tasted Ashes series triumphs, suggests the ECB is looking to the future. Giles is clearly being groomed for the national selector's role sometime ahead.

The left-arm spinner, who retired through injury last year, has just taken up a post as Warwickshire's director of cricket.

Whitaker, who won one Test cap in the victorious 1986-87 Ashes series, is a former manager of the England A and Under-19 teams, and captained Leicestershire to county championships in 1996 and 1998, subsequently working for the club as coach and director of cricket.

The role of a national selector as a full-time position was one of 19 recommendations made last year by the review group headed by Ken Schofield following England's humiliating 5-0 Ashes whitewash in Australia and subsequent failure in the World Cup.

Graveney, who had been chairman of selectors for more than a decade, has not been ditched completely.

The England and Wales Cricket Board has appointed him national performance manager, responsible for monitoring the progress of the most promising young players in county cricket.

Graveney said: "While I am naturally disappointed no longer to be directly involved with the England team, I feel I can play an important part in ensuring that we maintain a consistent flow of world-class talent from the county academies into our international teams at all levels."

During Graveney's reign England enjoyed more consistency of selection for the Test side, and Graveney expressed pride at being associated with a team that won eight successive Tests in 2004, recaptured the Ashes the following year and won overseas series in South Africa, West Indies, Sri Lanka and Pakistan.

The one-day international record was abysmal, however. To avoid a repetition of that Miller will travel with the England team abroad, ending the policy of the captain and coach selecting the final XI while overseas.

Miller's salary will be around £80,000, but he is reputed to earn more than £200,000 as an after-dinner speaker and he insisted he will not be calling time on that lucrative front.

"I won't give it up because it is part of me. I am in the entertainment business and I enjoy it. I can get out to dinners and promote the cause of English cricket. It is not just a case of standing up and talking to people for half an hour. I don't see why the two cannot go together."