Stewart open to ECB role

Surrey’s cricket director revealed he would be “silly not to listen” to England and Wales Cricket Board bosses if they enquired about his services as they look to restructure following the exit of managing director Downton, who was sacked on Wednesday.

England’s former wicketkeeper-batsman said he will talk to ECB chiefs if they consult him over filling a proposed new director of cricket role.

James Whitaker is expected to lose his role as a national selector after an ECB meeting on Thursday, with Michael Vaughan touted as the early front-runner for the new cricket director job.

Surrey boss Stewart admitted anyone “who feels they could make a difference at the top level” will be interested in England’s newly-created role.

“The first question is what does the job entail? What is the job description?” said Stewart.

“I’ve always been passionate about England and English cricket and if the ECB want to speak to me of course I’ll speak to them.

“They would have to get permission from Surrey first.

“But it would certainly be a job, if it’s the right job, where you’d be silly not to listen to them.

“And that’s not just me, that’s anybody within the game who feels they could make a difference at the top level.”

Beleaguered managing director Downton lost his job on Wednesday night after a tumultuous 14-month reign.

Downton took control in February 2014 but never recovered from his immediate controversial decision to sack star batsman Kevin Pietersen.

The reappointment of Peter Moores as head coach was designed to sweep a new broom through the ECB, but ultimately Downton has paid the price for those two key decisions.

New ECB chief executive Tom Harrison spearheaded Downton’s removal, backed up no doubt by incoming chairman Colin Graves, who starts his new role next month.

Graves has already mooted a potential Test return for the exiled Pietersen, and Downton’s removal opens the door still further for the South Africa-born batsman, who will be back in county action with Surrey this season.