Overseas players a concern for Collier

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The Independent Online

It was slightly ironic that the First Class Forum, the most powerful committee in English cricket, should be meeting on the day the England and Wales Cricket Board named David Collier as its new chief executive.

It was slightly ironic that the First Class Forum, the most powerful committee in English cricket, should be meeting on the day the England and Wales Cricket Board named David Collier as its new chief executive.

The knives usually used on the holder of cricket's most important administrative position by this committee may not have been long enough to stretch from the ECB offices at Lord's to the indoor school but it can be assumed they were being sharpened by the chairmen and chief executives of the 18 first-class counties.

But it appears this group, who ultimately control whether any of Collier's proposals will be employed by the game, have little to worry about. Collier is not due to start at Lord's until the new year but at his first press conference yesterday he gave no indication that he was looking to make any significant changes to the way cricket is run in this country.

The 49 year-old former chief executive of Nottinghamshire gave his support to not only the 18 first-class counties, but also to the 38 county boards who oversee recreational cricket. Collier also reiterated the views of his predecessor, Tim Lamb, stating that a successful England team is the ECB's greatest asset.

It would appear that Collier has concerns over the number of overseas players plying their trade in England. "I do not believe that we will be able to provide a conveyor belt of talent to Duncan Fletcher and Michael Vaughan without a strong and vibrant domestic game, dominated by English qualified players," he said.

Collier is accustomed to handling domestic issues but dealing with the politics of international cricket will be a fresh challenge.

Explaining Collier's appointment, David Morgan, the ECB chairman, said: "We were looking for someone with a strong business background coupled with a knowledge and love of cricket. David has both."

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