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Ed Smith removed by ECB – England’s major selection restructure explained

by Wisden Staff 3 minute read

Ed Smith will leave his role as England national selector at the end of this month, with the ECB announcing a major selection restructure.

England head coach Chris Silverwood will assume overall responsibility for future squad selections. James Taylor will take up the newly created role of head scout, while England men’s performance director Mo Bobat will provide further input, as will all coaches aligned to England’s sides.

Supporting this system will be a resource that will provide intelligence from performance analysis, talent ID, scouting, medical and sports science, according to the ECB. Responsibility for selecting England’s final XI will continue to rest with Silverwood and the respective red- or white-ball captains.

The new structure has been designed by Ashley Giles, managing director of England men’s cricket, with the intent to give clear accountability.

Smith’s tenure, which began ahead of the 2018 summer, has been a divisive one, but England’s results on the field have been impressive, with them ranked No.1 in the ICC ODI and T20I rankings and No.4 in Tests, as well as winning the Cricket World Cup in 2019.

However, England struggled on their recent tour of India, with all three series going the way of the hosts.

“England’s two captains, Joe and Eoin, have already completed remarkable achievements in an England shirt,” said Smith. “England has two men dedicated to playing cricket in a way that makes the country proud. The role of National Selector has been enjoyable and rewarding, and that is significantly due to my interaction with all of the England players.

“At such a high point for England cricket, I wish Ashley Giles, the coaches and all support staff good fortune over the coming months. I know how hard Ashley and his team work for England cricket. In particular, I’d like to wish Chris Silverwood good luck and every success going forward.”

“The current process of selecting England teams has been in place for over 120 years,” said Giles. “Even though this system has its merits, with advances in technology and a greater information gathering resource at our disposal than ever before, the restructure is in the best interests of helping England men’s teams be successful.

“The new structure also makes lines of accountability much clearer, with Chris Silverwood, as head coach, taking ultimate responsibility for picking England senior men’s squads.”

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