Tom Harrison, Chief Executive of the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB), today announced changes to the England Cricket management structure.

The existing England team set-up will change with immediate effect, with Paul Downton leaving his position as Managing Director England Cricket.

A new leadership appointment, focused on performance will now be created and report directly to the Chief Executive.

Announcing the change, Tom Harrison commented: “The England Cricket Department needs to deliver performance at the highest level and our structure needs to be accountable for reaching the standards we aspire to.

"The new role we are putting in place will deliver an environment where world class performance is at the heart of everything we do."

Harrison paid tribute to Paul Downton, the Managing Director of Cricket since February 2014, and noted that English Test cricket has seen a significant improvement from the low of the Ashes tour in 2013/14.

He continued: “Paul is a man of great integrity who has worked extremely hard to make a difference at the ECB. He joined at a very difficult time, but under his leadership the Test team have made significant strides. We thank him for his hard work, drive and determination and wish him every success for the future.

“The touring team in the West Indies are aware of the changes. The process for appointing the new role, with sole responsibility for the England set-up, will begin immediately.”

The Managing Director role will be removed from the ECB structure.

A newly created role of ‘Director of England Cricket’, with a clear focus on delivering a world class performance environment for all formats will replace it.

The restructuring follows a review of the team’s performance at the World Cup and a need to look to the long-term, putting a plan in place for 2019 and beyond.