England have ‘a great opportunity’ to reset red-ball cricket after Ashes kick, says ECB chief Tom Harrison | cricket news

ECB chief executive Tom Harrison says the Ashes thrashing gave England cricket ‘a brilliant opportunity’ to ‘reset’ the red ball game

Tom Harrison says the English game has a « great opportunity » to « reset » red-ball cricket following the national team’s loss to the Ashes.

England were beaten in the first three Tests in Australia this winter as they lost the series after just 12 days of cricket.

Joe Root’s side lost nine of their 15 total Tests in 2021 and were dismissed for under 200 on 13 occasions last year.

A focus on white-ball cricket helped England win the 2019 50th World Cup on home soil, but ECB chief executive Harrison says now is the time to redress the balance between formats.

He said: “Our priority is Test cricket. We want to succeed in white-ball cricket, of course, but we absolutely have to succeed in test cricket.

Joe Root's England side lost the Ashes series in just 12 days

Joe Root’s England side lost the Ashes series in just 12 days

“I feel like now is the time to reset the importance of red ball cricket in our domestic calendar, for us to recalibrate the way we play top class cricket in the UK.

Harrison: Ashes exceptionally tough ride

“It’s a great opportunity for us to come together as a game and really settle this once and for all. Sometimes the ability to make changes to something as complicated as our schedule is when you have a performance-related issue, and we have one now.

“It has been an exceptionally difficult tour. I don’t think we can forget the fact that this has been another very disappointing episode in our continued bid to win the Ashes in Australia.

“We really need to get to the bottom of this once and for all now and make sure the debate answers the questions we are asking. We should not be afraid of some of these questions.

« Let’s have the right balance between the red ball and the white ball, look at when we play red ball cricket, the grounds we play on, the ball we use. »


Harrison: ‘How we manage player workload is clearly going to be a major concern as we move forward into 2022’

“Player workload is a major concern”

On England’s busy international schedule, Harrison added: « We have to look at the schedule – everyone knows that.

“How we handle player workload is clearly going to be a major concern as we move forward into 2022.

“Internationally, as we emerge from the immediate aftermath of Covid, we need to look at how we handle device workloads.

“It’s something that the ICC General Managers Committee has to deal with in the cycle. It is a tough challenge for world cricket. »

Harrison also suggested there was « a strong case » for greater knowledge of cricket within the ECB board and offered his full support for Root to continue as Test captain.

He was less keen on engaging on the subject of his own bonus scheme, however, with Harrison and other senior ECB executives set to split a pot reportedly topping £2million.

Asked if it was appropriate to accept payment at a time when performance is under the microscope and finances are strained by the pandemic, Harrison added, « It’s a question about a employment contract.

“The board has set the criteria by which we are judged and that is their business. »

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