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Thursday, June 24, 1999 Published at 16:33 GMT 17:33 UK

Sport: Cricket

Hussain awarded skipper's role

Nasser Hussain: "I'm immensely proud to accept the selectors' invitation"

Nasser Hussain has been named as the England captain for this summer's Test series against New Zealand.

Hussain takes over the role from Alec Stewart.

Jonathan Agnew: "The ECB made the obvious choice" (BBC Radio 5 Live)
The England and Wales Cricket Board also confirmed that Glamorgan's Duncan Fletcher will succeed David Lloyd as coach.

Chairman of selectors David Graveney said: "The decision has not been rushed because we were keen to make sure were not simply making a change as a knee-jerk reaction to our World Cup performance.

[ image: Ex-captain Alec Stewart was criticised for England's failure in the World Cup]
Ex-captain Alec Stewart was criticised for England's failure in the World Cup
"As it is, by taking our time, we are satisfied we have made the right decision and that decision is to turn to Nasser.

"We feel he is the right candidate and the right man to lead us into the future.

"He has plenty of experience of cricket at all levels, has served a long apprenticeship as a vice-captain to both Michael Atherton and Stewart and in our conversations with him he has shown a huge passion for what is a massive job."

'A huge honour'

Hussain, who becomes England's third captain in little over a year, said:

"This is a huge honour, the biggest one in the game and I'm delighted and immensely proud to accept the selectors' invitation to lead the England side.

"It's now time for us to look forward rather than reflect on what has gone before and to focus all our efforts on achieving a consistently winning side.

"We certainly have the players to beat the best side in the world, but we have to do it on a more consistent basis.

"Now is the time for us all to try and end that inconsistency and to start winning regularly, and that needs to begin against New Zealand this summer."

Second choice coach

Zimbabwe-born Fletcher, 50, has been appointed successor to David Lloyd after first choice Bob Woolmer ruled himself out of the race declaring he needed a break from international cricket and has since agreed to return to Warwickshire.

[ image: David Lloyd: Left to take up a job in the media]
David Lloyd: Left to take up a job in the media
Fletcher led Zimbabwe in their first World Cup campaign in 1983 and since becoming a coach, he has helped Glamorgan to the County Championship two summers ago while he has guided Western Province to two South African domestic championships and a one-day title.

His first official task as England coach will be on this winter's tour while he completes the rest of the summer with Glamorgan, where he signed a new three-year deal just last season.

Fletcher said: "From now until the end of the season I will be concentrating my efforts with Glamorgan.

"Although, naturally, if the current England set-up want to involve me in any of their thought processes, I will be happy to join in when appropriate, and I would hope to meet the players at some stage during the summer."

Graveney will take charge of the England side for the remainder of this summer.

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