• Strauss quits as ECB director of cricket

    England and Wales Cricket Board director of cricket Andrew Strauss has resigned.

    Appointed in May 2015, Strauss held the post for three and a half years. The decision to effectively end batsman Kevin Pietersen’s career was arguably the most contentious of his tenure.

    ‘I have taken the difficult decision to step down from my role as director of England cricket,’ Strauss said in a statement.

    ‘Next year is potentially the most important the game has had in this country, with the World Cup on home soil and a home Ashes series, and we have an incredible opportunity to do something special. It is vital that the director of cricket can give consistent guidance and support to England Cricket through this period.’

    He temporarily vacated the job earlier this year, amid his wife Ruth’s battle with cancer.

    Strauss will help ECB chief executive Tom Harrison seek a successor.

    ‘I will not be leaving the game completely – initially helping Tom to shape the role for my successor, then supporting a range of other ECB projects – but it’s important to see someone else in place for a crucial summer in 2019,’ said Strauss.

    ‘It has been hugely motivating and enjoyable to be working for the ECB and England cricket. Before taking on this incredible role, I had little appreciation of all the selfless work that goes on across the ECB and throughout domestic cricket to ensure we have winning England teams and that the game, as a whole, keeps growing.

    ‘I have been fortunate to be at the ECB at a time when ground-breaking progress has been made, giving cricket a platform to evolve and inspire for years to come. I would like to express my gratitude to Tom, Colin Graves and the leadership team for their commitment and support in helping to drive English cricket forward.’

    The South African-born Strauss played 100 Tests for England between 2004 and 2012. He captained the team in exactly half of those.

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    Jonhenry Wilson