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   Monday, 6 January, 2003, 14:42 GMT
England told 'no quick fix'
A top cricket official says England cannot hope for an instant solution to their Ashes woes.

Deputy chairman of the ECB Mike Soper
Soper: "The structure we have in place is right"

Victory in the fifth Test failed to overshadow a 4-1 series defeat for Nasser Hussain's men and an eighth successive reverse to Australia.

And Mike Soper, deputy chairman of the England and Wales Cricket Board, feels it could be some time before England finally get their hands of the Ashes again.

"People always talk about quick fixes but you can't do a quick fix," he told BBC Sport Online.

"You can't turn a tap on straight away and say you'll pick a new side.

"I would say the new England side is about 17 years of age at the moment and it is still four or five years away from fruition."

The finger of blame for England's failures against Australia has often been pointed at the ECB and the much-maligned county system.

You can't just suddenly get five Nasser Hussains or five Shane Warnes overnight

Mike Soper
ECB deputy chairman

But Soper rejects such notions, pointing to the Academy and central contracts for England players as steps in the right direction.

"I think the structure we have in place is right," said Soper, who is also chairman of Surrey.

"The right things are in place and people have just got to give it time.

"More money is going to grass roots cricket but it doesn't happen overnight.

"I think it's the right way forward but bear in mind the idea of central contracts has only been around for a couple of years."

Benefit

Soper said the introduction two years ago of a two-division county championship would benefit England in the long run.

"I think the two divisions is working," he said.

"I wouldn't say it has tackled the problem of the quality of county cricket yet but I in time it will.

"The problem with the one division was that it was a comfort zone with little meaning to some."

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 ECB deputy chairman Mike Soper
"People have got to give it time"
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