Below is a work of fiction
After the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) refused to make the job description for England’s director of cricket role public, the author, thanks to his sneaky sources, got hold of a leaked copy of the document detailing the requirement for the much hyped position. Below is the full text of that draft. It is important to note that Andrew Strauss is most likely to bag the post. It is also important to note that Michael Vaughan withdrew his submission because he didn’t quite like the “limitations” of the job.
The Director of England Cricket’s role is a leadership position aiming to deliver performance of the highest standard, in the process enabling your subordinates — in this case the eleven English cricketers and the thirty-odd members of the support staff — to give their best every single time, on and off the field. “To lead is to affirm the greatness within everyone you’ll meet today,” said Robin Sharma, the author of a plethora of untouched books basking in the dust gathered on the bookstands of our hallowed stadia. (It could be one of the reasons explaining our team’s non-performance, but reading is not our immediate priority here).
Despite the cliché-ridden introduction to this post, we can confidently state (contrary to the rumors doing the rounds in broadsheets, tabloids and the unforgiving social media) that it is NOT just “another administrative position”. The reason we refused to make the job description public is because we wanted this filtered only to a select few: the “right” candidates. The requirements of the aforementioned “right” candidates are mentioned below.
Formal Education & Certification
- Not really necessary, although an undergraduate degree (field notwithstanding) from either England or South Africa is a plus.
Knowledge & Experience
- Played five years of Test cricket (this is a necessity after the Paul Downton experiment).
- Extensive knowledge of the three formats of the game, i.e; Test cricket, County Cricket and the NatWest T20 Blast.
- Extensive knowledge of Microsoft Word, Microsoft Excel, Microsoft Access and Office 365, because some of the coaches are heavily reliant on “data” and have blamed the lack of the aforesaid during blatant cases of humiliation.
- Extensive knowledge of the laws of cricket. Keeping abreast with the fortnightly changes to rules in limited-overs cricket is a plus.
- Extensive knowledge of the hierarchy of ECB’s and Cricket South Africa (CSA) domestic structure.
- Little or no knowledge of One-Day Internationals (ODIs), ICC events, Big Bash League (BBL) and especially the Indian Premier League (IPL).
- Ability to overlook the shortcomings of the captain and (at most times) the coach.
- Ability to blindly motivate senior members of the squad whose form is on a downward spiral, in the process demotivating a deserving youngster who has plundered and amassed runs in the domestic format: Jonathan Trott and Adam Lyth during the chuckle-worthy tour of West Indies can be used as cases in point.
- Proven ability to visit the opposition’s dressing room in between inning breaks to request for reversal of decisions; even if the aforementioned decision was the outcome of undeniable tomfoolery on part of a member of your own team (please look up “Ian Bell run-out against India” on YouTube for an example).
- Proven analytical and problem-solving abilities. We can assure you this is one attribute that you will continually be tested on..
- Good written, oral, and skills (Keyword: Kevin “Pieterson”).
- Communicate with the media as little as possible. Opacity is the key. However, if situations demand you dole out necessary information, then dish out praises to the ECB. This is also one of the attributes that might hold you in good stead for a contract extension.
- Squash any sane voice demanding an inquiry after a forgettable tour.
- Excellent employee benefits if you keep players from defecting to the IPL, BBL, CPL and other superior competitive leagues.
- To help English cricket reach the pinnacle in all forms of the sport, even if it means drafting South African expats.
- To help chart the path for England to regain the tag of “Best cricket team in Europe”.
- Analyze performance of players in the squad on a consistent basis, and if change is the need of the hour, find a suitable scapegoat. In dire circumstances, the selectors may also be sacked.
- To maintain an active pursuit of Yorkshire players to render excellent bench strength.
- CRITICISE the IPL.
- Conduct more Test matches to improve performance in ODIs and T20.
- Expertly oscillate between pushing for the case of James Tredwell and Monty Panesar (or vice versa…you get the drift) if voices highlighting the absence of a frontline spinner grow in the media.
- DO NOT provide a window for the IPL.
- Avoid Kevin “Pieterson”.