Graveney may bank on Barclay

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The Independent Online
Cricket

John Barclay yesterday emerged as a possible beneficiary of David Graveney's campaign manifesto as the battle to unseat Ray Illingworth hotted up.

Barclay, England's winter tour manager, could be offered a new role as team administrator should the 43-year-old Graveney be elected chairman of selectors on Tuesday.

Graveney has made it clear that there would also be room for other younger, progressive men in his new-look England set-up - with the likes of Ian Botham, Mike Gatting and David Lloyd becoming candidates for the official coaching staff.

Graveney outlined his vision of how the England team should be run after the Test and County Board confirmed yesterday that he had been nominated to challenge Illingworth, whose two-year contract expires on 31 March.

The 42-year-old Barclay is in line to play an important role in helping to regenerate the national side. The former Sussex captain, who won good reviews as the assistant to Illingworth on tour this winter, had a first- hand view of England's depressing slump in South Africa and at the World Cup. He is understood to have been approached by some counties who saw him as a challenger to Illingworth for the post of chairman of selectors, but he declined to stand.

"I would not be doing the same job as Illy - I think that's the most important point to make," Graveney said. "I see the chairman of selectors role as an overseeing one, taking an overview and making sure the structure is operating properly.

"I want to achieve continuity, in selection and administration, so I would want someone to act as a team manager at home and doubling as a tour manager abroad. There would be a chief coach, working closely with the captain in team matters, but also other coaches.

"People keep mentioning Ian Botham, and I can see an important role for him in the dressing-room and in a general coaching and motivational capacity. He inspires, he gets on well with the players. I want a much larger management team, and more back-up."

Lara faces rap, page 23

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