Yorkshire’s Martyn Moxon defends dual role

MARTYN MOXON insists there will be no conflict of interest between his director of cricket roles at Yorkshire and the new Headingley-based 100-ball franchise.

Linked with return: Darren Lehmann.

Concerns have been raised by Professional Cricketers’ Association chairman Daryl Mitchell that county coaches will favour their own players/county interests if they are also running the 100-ball teams.

The Worcestershire batsman believes that there should be a clear dividing line between the counties and the eight franchises and that “every player (across the country) has to have a fair opportunity to take part in what should be a great competition”.

Sign up to our daily newsletter

The i newsletter cut through the noise

Otherwise he warned that it could be “a postcode lottery about where you play your cricket” and stressed that “we don’t want bias or even the perception of bias”.

NO WORRIES: Yorkshire CCC director of cricket, Martyn Moxon. Picture: Jonathan Gawthorpe

But Moxon, whose position with the Headingley franchise has still to be officially finalised, empathises with Mitchell and insisted that he will indeed be completely independent from the player draft and involved only in the selection and support of the head coach/support staff plus various administration tasks.

Darren Lehmann, the former Yorkshire and Australia batsman, has been linked with the head coach position at his former stomping ground, with fellow foreign coaches such as Trevor Bayliss, Stephen Fleming and Gary Kirsten also linked with roles at the other franchises.

Mark Arthur, the Yorkshire chief executive, will oversee the Headingley franchise along with Tim Bostock, his counterpart at Durham, with whom Yorkshire are partnered for the five-week event that starts next summer, while Andy Dawson, Yorkshire’s commercial director, will be the general manager.

Each franchise will have a budget for coaches/support staff of around £150,000, and counties will be compensated for any staff/players taken away during a competition in which each team can have up to three non-England qualified players.

Moxon said: “I think it’s got to be clear that although I’m part of the selection process of the head coach, when it comes to selecting the players for the team, I’m not going to be directly involved in that. That has to be totally separate to the Yorkshire County Cricket Club staff, and I think that’s got to be made very clear.

“All I will be doing is assisting the head coach with information on players, and that’s why an analyst is going to be part of that process, too. The plan is for them to do the background work on who the best T20/100 players are potentially, and the different types of player out there, and to try and help the head coach put together the squad, etcetera.

“I want to distance myself from the player draft (which will be held in October). My role is to support the head coach and make sure he’s got everything he needs, but I won’t be involved in the draft itself.

“We’ll talk to the head coach about the support staff he wants, and there is a set budget for each team in that respect. We’ve had a number of people show an interest in wanting to be head coach, and once all the i’s have been dotted and the t’s have been crossed with everything as far as the competition is concerned, then we’ll be looking to make an appointment pretty quickly.”

Team names have yet to be determined for a tournament that will see Headingley host four games per season.

Player salaries will be banded from £30,000 up to £125,000 with centrally contracted Test players then being allocated to each side.

The competition will be played at the same time as the 50-over One-Day Cup, thus effectively turning that into a development tournament.

Moxon, who still hopes to watch “a significant number of our 50-over games, if not all of them”, is aware of the strong feeling against 100-ball cricket from among existing supporters but is prepared to give the format a chance.

“The problem is, it’s technically not necessarily aimed at current cricket watchers,” he said. “It’s aimed to try and generate new cricket watchers. Obviously, at the same time, you’re trying not to alienate current cricket watchers, but whether that’s possible is a different matter.

“It will be interesting to see how many current cricket watchers do come to the matches, but this is about trying to secure the future of the game ultimately by generating more money and attracting new people, so what other choice is there? What’s the other option?

“Nobody wants the game to die.”