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Last Updated: Wednesday, 13 October, 2004, 11:24 GMT 12:24 UK
New ECB chief's challenges
By Oliver Brett

There are a number of major issues facing David Collier in his new role as chief executive of the England and Wales Cricket Board.

He will not have to deal with any flak arising out of England's tour to Zimbabwe scheduled for next month. Conveniently he will not take office until the end of the year.

When he does begin the first day of his new job, however, he will find his in-tray bulging.

THE INTERNATIONAL SCENE

Morgan has been criticised for failing to be a recognised and respected "face" within the corridors of power at the International Cricket Council.

There are also lingering tensions between the ICC and the ECB, notably over the Zimbabwe issue, so England's cause suffers on two counts.

Collier denies he is daunted by international affairs.

He insists: "In my time at American Airlines I had to make meet up with high-flying officials in the European Commission and I have a background in dealing with politicians and world leaders.

"I also had a chat with [ICC chief executive] Malcolm Speed during the ICC Champions Trophy."

DOMESTIC CRICKET

An exciting development is in prospect here.

David Collier
Collier is not overwhelmed

Collier insists counties who promote grass-roots cricket must have an ethos in line with the ECB and produce England cricketers could be in line for performance-related bonuses.

"I think there will be a section of our distribution [of funds] in the future that will be specifically to do with certain projects.

"That's good for counties because then they know what they have to deliver."

His background of working with three different counties means he is staunchly behind the first-class structure in England, but he wants it properly funded.

"I've got two children [teenage boys] who are passionate about playing county-level cricket.

"Grass-roots cricket is the future of the game but we have to seek as much partnership funding as we can in those key areas."

NEGOTIATING THE NEW TV DEAL

Initial bids for a fresh three-year deal to cover all international and domestic cricket in England, which will run from summer 2006 have recently been sent to Lord's.

There is the prospect that the BBC or even ITV may compete strongly with existing rights-holders Channel 4 and Sky.

Getting the best financial deal is a complicated process, and the ECB has a four-man committee currently devoted to it.

With his vast experience in the cut-throat deals of the global travel industry, it is likely Collier will want to become involved in this particular aspect.

BUILDING A GOOD RELATIONSHIP WITH THE ENGLAND TEAM

Former captain Nasser Hussain reveals in his new autobiography that he lost confidence in the ECB and ICC during last year's World Cup over their handling of the Zimbabwe affair, which ultimately resulted in England refusing to play in Harare.

Collier insists that nothing should be read into the recent spat between Morgan and coach Duncan Fletcher over whether Michael Vaughan should go on the Zimbabwe tour.

He says: "With any relationship there's always going to be periods when that relationship is strained.

"I believe the relationship today between Michael, Duncan and David is very strong.

"I believe I have a track record of working well with new players and I believe I can keep that going."


SEE ALSO
ECB confirms Collier as new chief
13 Oct 04  |  Cricket
No censure for Zim doubters
29 Sep 04  |  England
Morris accepts stand-in job
13 Sep 04  |  Cricket
Lamb bows to county critics
30 May 04  |  Cricket
ECB chief confirms departure
27 May 04  |  Cricket
Lamb's exit leaves big gap
27 May 04  |  Cricket
Lamb news saddens counties
26 May 04  |  Cricket


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