Cricket

ECB director Andrew Strauss: We've got ground to make up in white-ball cricket

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England and Wales Cricket Board director Andrew Strauss has revealed prioritising the limited-overs formats is a key aim in the forthcoming years.

Strauss was appointed to his role at the ECB earlier this year in the wake of the country's awful World Cup campaign in Australia and New Zealand.

England subsequently adopted a more aggressive approach against both Antipodean countries in the 50-over format this summer, beating the Kiwis 3-2 in an enthralling series before narrowly losing by the same scoreline to Australia.

But with England hosting both the Champions Trophy in 2017 and then the World Cup two years later, Strauss believes there is plenty of room for improvement, especially with Twenty20 competitions - such as the Indian Premier League - pushing the game to new heights.

He told Sky Sports 2: "I think the area that most needs attention in English cricket right now is our white-ball cricket. You've seen the way other teams have forged ahead, the World Cup was a great demonstration for that.

"A lot of other players around the world are playing in a lot of these Twenty20 competitions around the world and that's challenging them to think of different ways of playing the game.

"We've got a lot of ground to make up in a short space of time, especially if we're serious about performing well in the Champions Trophy in 2017 and giving ourselves the best chance of winning the 2019 World Cup.

"We need to do things differently. If we keep doing the same things then we'll get the same results. It's not about me saying 'we need to do it' - it's about us demonstrating that."

Strauss says the ECB is working towards those aims, highlighting the decision to allow David Willey to play in Australia's Big Bash this winter, while the former England captain is hopeful of persuading a restructure in domestic cricket.

"There's a lot more going on in the background and you'll see over the coming months and years," he added. "If you don't see it then we're not doing our jobs."

Strauss, however, does concede that Tests will not be put on the back-burner.

"We've got to look at the next four years and ask at what times are we prioritising one-day cricket and at what times are we prioritising Tests," he said.

"No-one is interested in our Test side going on a slide - it's really important we get to number one in the world and really important we win Ashes series.

"But there'll be times in between that it's even more important that we're really focused on our white-ball cricket - getting our best side on the park and making sure they're preparing for the big events.

"At times that has to have priority otherwise everyone - the players themselves and the game as a whole - will still see Test cricket as being the only thing we're interested in."

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