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Downton handed ECB MD role

Former Kent, Middlesex and England wicketkeeper Paul Downton has been appointed to succeed Hugh Morris as Managing Director - England Cricket and will commence his new appointment on 1 February 2014.

Downton represented England in 30 Tests between 1981 and 1988 and 28 one-day internationals with more than half his Tests coming against the powerful West Indies team of the 1980s. He played in both the 1981 and 1985 Ashes-winning series, the 1984/5 series win in India and the Cricket World Cup final in 1987 in Kolkata.

In 1980 he helped Middlesex to the double of the County Championship and Gillette Cup. During his playing career he was in two County Championship-winning Kent teams and four County Championship-winning Middlesex teams as well as being on the winning team on three occasions in the Benson and Hedges Cup and three occasions in the Gillette/NatWest domestic competition. Paul was forced to retire from cricket after suffering a freak accident when a bail struck him in the eye during a Sunday League match.

While studying law at Exeter University, Downton represented England Universities at cricket to add to the international honours he earned at youth level in both cricket and rugby union. He is a qualified coach and since retiring from cricket has been an active member of the Middlesex, ECB Cricket and MCC Committees and forged a successful career in the City with HSBC, Cazenove and JP Morgan.

ECB Chief Executive David Collier said: "Paul's record of success both on and off the field made him the outstanding candidate to replace Hugh Morris. His experience of a World Cup final, Ashes success, six County Championship wins and 58 international appearances for England provides a wealth of cricket experience.

"His background in law when coupled with his experience in the City provides the unique set of skills which is required to lead and manage the England Cricket Department's £100million budget over the next four years.

"Paul will inherit a thriving Team England operation which has been exceptionally well led by Hugh Morris and the ECB wishes Hugh every success in his new role at Glamorgan CCC."

Paul Downton added: "I am honoured to have been offered this position and the trust which the ECB has placed in me to lead our national teams.

"Since retiring from the game I have taken a close interest in both County and International cricket and I am excited by the challenge of building on the success which England teams have enjoyed at all levels in recent years.

"My discussions during the appointment process with the Chairman, Chief Executive, the England Team Director and one-day coach have provided me with a clear vision of the importance attached to this role and I look forward to forging close and successful working relationships with my new colleagues at ECB.

"Finally I would like to thank JP Morgan Cazenove, who have been a terrific company to work for during the past 17 years and I wish the company and all my colleagues every success in the future."