The England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) today announced it had appointed Alun Powell as its new National Talent Manager for men’s cricket.

Powell is currently the Rugby Football Union’s Head of Regional Academies and his previous experience includes spells in talent development roles with the Rugby Football League as well as with Scottish Rugby and Wasps RFC.

His new role will encompass all aspects of talent identification and development below international level.

It will sit alongside the two other senior talent development positions; Andy Flower (Lions) and Andy Hurry (Young Lions), and report to ECB Performance Director David Parsons.

Based at the National Cricket Performance Centre at Loughborough University, the role has been created following recommendations made by an independent review of the existing county talent pathway.

It reflects the aims of Cricket Unleashed – ECB’s new national framework for growing the game at every level.

A similar appointment to cover talent development and recruitment within the women’s game is expected to be made shortly.

Powell will be supported in his new role by David Graveney OBE, the ECB’s National Performance Manager whose responsibilities will include schools and university cricket, the Advanced Apprenticeship programme, and ‘talent scouting’ and programme evaluation within the wider county network.

Commenting on Alun Powell’s appointment, ECB’s Director, England Cricket Andrew Strauss said: “We want to help our best young cricketers maximise their potential – and become the England and county cricketers of the future. So it’s vital that we continue to invest in this area and attract new young talent into the professional game.

“Alun’s work in professional rugby has been widely admired and he has a proven track record of implementing successful talent development programmes with local partners. His expertise will be invaluable to us as we look to develop and improve our existing county network, draw on best practice from other sports and deliver to a consistently high standard in all areas.

“I’m also pleased to confirm that David Graveney will continue in his current role; helping shape and influence the development of our most promising young players and allowing them to benefit from all his extensive experience and knowledge of the First Class game.”