Michael Vaughan: I will talk to the ECB - but the role has to be right
Source: www.telegraph.co.uk/tom
It was inevitable there would be a casualty after England’s dismal World Cup. If you keep making the wrong decisions and playing cricket that does not fit with this modern era then someone has to pay thIt was inevitable there would be a casualty after England’s dismal World Cup. If you keep making the wrong decisions and playing cricket that does not fit with this modern era then someone has to pay the price, but it is interesting that person was Paul Downton, a man wearing a suit and not a track suit.

Paul has lost his job, and that is unfortunate for him, but the England players have to look at themselves too. They cannot just blame the coaches, the England and Wales Cricket Board or the managing director. In fact I don’t care about their excuses.
The best players coach themselves and take a risk because they know that is the right option.

English cricket does not have a Harry Potter to wave a magic wand. Sacking Downton is not suddenly going to turn England into Australia or suddenly unearth a battery of fast bowlers or batsmen who can smash the ball 360 degrees.

There are many issues that are nothing to do with Paul. We do not have an English Premier League to immerse players in a competitive environment where fearless cricket is the norm. It was not Paul’s fault the players performed so timidly at the World Cup.

No matter whom they appoint to the position the problems are deeper rooted. English cricket needs a togetherness to help bring cultural change. The game in England is full of talent but it needs to play a more modern, aggressive game.e price, but it is interesting that person was Paul Downton, a man wearing a suit and not a track suit.

In Test cricket our attritional approach is enough to beat good teams but not the best. It needs a wider acceptance that in all forms of the game we have to be more attacking, not gung ho, but play smart cricket.

For that to happen we have to give players the chance to think for themselves. It means developing younger cricketers capable of standing on their own two feet. Let’s stop molly coddling them. People will say that is happening already but I don’t see it.
The amount of money we spend on academies should be producing more high quality cricketers ready for the international game at an earlier age. We should be blooding players aged 21-22 but most of our debutants are in the 25‑29 age bracket.

Over time we have to produce players willing to take risks and be brave.
World sport at the highest level is about being bold at the right time.

We have to get the conveyor belt going. Yes we have had good times and good wins in the past. But then we crash. The Ashes of 2005 was a great time for English cricket and Andy Flower and Andrew Strauss led us to the top of the world rankings.

English cricket does not have a Harry Potter to wave a magic wand. Sacking Downton is not suddenly going to turn England into Australia or suddenly unearth a battery of fast bowlers or batsmen who can smash the ball 360 degrees.

There are many issues that are nothing to do with Paul. We do not have an English Premier League to immerse players in a competitive environment where fearless cricket is the norm. It was not Paul’s fault the players performed so timidly at the World Cup.

No matter whom they appoint to the position the problems are deeper rooted. English cricket needs a togetherness to help bring cultural change. The game in England is full of talent but it needs to play a more modern, aggressive game.

A marvellous achievement. But we crashed and burned both times. We have lost two Ashes series 5-0 in the space of eight years. If we continue as we are we will produce another good team but will we enjoy sustained success or dominance? No.

It will take honesty and unity to make a change. In Colin Graves and Tom Harrison we have a chance to change English cricket and admit our problems.
Let us finally do it. Stop looking at what your own county needs and ask what is best for English cricket moving forward and what is right for the England team to sustain a proper period of success.

For the first time since retiring six years ago I am open to a conversation with the ECB. I am passionate about English cricket. I love the game and I always want England to move forward and be successful.

• Michael Vaughan: England's culture of negativity must change
I have a vision for the game and I think I will be one of many ex-players who will be more than willing to talk to the ECB to see what exactly the role is and how much influence it will wield over the future structure of our game.

The brief has to be wider and more powerful than Paul’s to have any real impact on England.
Kevin is back playing county cricket and he has to be in a system where players are judged on performance. If he is one of the top seven batsmen in England by the time the Ashes start then England have to consider him. It is about picking teams to win games. People have to be old enough and mature enough to look each other in the eye and say we have messed up.

KP has done some bad things but so have some of the other players in the England team. They have got to be man enough to accept it is about winning.

I have just been in Australia and I never heard much about a comfortable relationship between Michael Clarke and Darren Lehmann but they seem to make it work. Perhaps you need a bit of an edge in your team.

Sport should never change. It is about picking the best 11 players to win games for the team. Captains, managing directors, coaches, selectors and players will be judged on winning and playing a brand of cricket people want to watch. Fans are excited by teams taking risks and bringing KP back is a big one.
English cricket has to face up to that decision