Cross named chair­man of Foun­da­tion

Rochdale Observer - - SPORT -

AN­DREW Flintoff is back at Lan­cashire af­ter join­ing the Emi­rates Old Traf­ford board.

He fills the place left by Paul Al­lott, who yes­ter­day was named the club’s new di­rec­tor of cricket.

And in what is a huge shake-up, the Lan­cashire Cricket Board (LCB) and LCCC Foun­da­tion will merge to form the Lan­cashire Cricket Foun­da­tion, which the Red Rose de­scribe as ‘a sep­a­rate en­tity to the club, with an over­all aim to de­liver some ex­tremely ex­cit­ing growth in both par­tic­i­pa­tion and at­ten­dance across the game through­out the re­gion in the com­ing years’.

For­mer sec­ond team player Bobby Cross – brother of Eng­land bowler Kate – has been ap­pointed chair­man of the new Lan­cashire Cricket Foun­da­tion, which will fo­cus on par­tic­i­pa­tion and growth of recre­ational cricket in the county.

Al­lott, who played for the club in the 1980s and 90s and has been a non-ex­ec­u­tive mem­ber of Lan­cashire’s board, will be re­spon­si­ble for over­all tal­ent iden­ti­fi­ca­tion for the pro­fes­sional side of the game and devel­op­ment of play­ers through the Elite Player Path­way (EPP), as well as the growth of par­tic­i­pa­tion and recre­ational cricket.

Lan­cashire age group teams, which were over­seen by the LCB, will now be un­der the wing of the club’s Academy, while the club will main­tain close links with the Lan­cashire Schools Cricket As­so­ci­a­tion (LSCA) and Un­der-19 Fed­er­a­tion.

James Sheri­dan, who has been chair­man of the LCCC Foun­da­tion since it started, is also join­ing the club’s board.

But it’s the ap­point­ment of Ashes win­ning hero and for­mer Eng­land cap­tain Flintoff, who made his Lan­cashire de­but in 1995, which has come as a sur­prise.

He said: “I’m hugely hon­oured to have been asked to join the board and even more de­lighted to ac­cept.

“I have talked to the chair­man about the fu­ture and what the club and the new Lan­cashire Cricket Foun­da­tion wish to achieve, and it is a hugely ex­cit­ing time for the game of cricket in Lan­cashire, and one that I am proud to be part of and con­trib­ute to.”

The po­si­tion of cricket di­rec­tor was first held by Mike Watkin­son, but has been va­cant since Ash­ley Giles left the club in De­cem­ber to re­join War­wick­shire.

Al­lott said: “It’s a huge hon­our to be ap­pointed to the role of di­rec­tor of cricket. It is a fan­tas­tic time for cricket as a whole, and es­pe­cially in Lan­cashire.

“It will be an all-en­com­pass­ing job, work­ing on the growth and par­tic­i­pa­tion of the game at the grass-roots level through to en­sur­ing the EPP is ap­pro­pri­ately struc­tured to de­velop and iden­tify the fu­ture gen­er­a­tion of both Lan­cashire and Eng­land play­ers.

“We have a strong his­tory in de­vel­op­ing top-level crick­eters and this is matched by a strong legacy of club cricket and we’re all look­ing for­ward to de­vel­op­ing this over the com­ing years.”

Hav­ing gone through years of re­de­vel­op­ment of Emi­rates Old Traf­ford, chair­man David Hodgkiss says the re­struc­tur­ing is the next step. He said: “Our vi­sion is to be the best cricket club in the world. We want to in­spire and pro­vide the best pos­si­ble ex­pe­ri­ences to peo­ple on and off the pitch.

“We’ve cre­ated a strong sus­tain­able foun­da­tion for the club fol­low­ing the re­de­vel­op­ment of the venue.

“The next steps are to en­sure we have the right struc­ture to grow the game, en­hance our legacy and build an even bet­ter fu­ture for cricket.”

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