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Daily Mirror
Daily Mirror
Matthew Cooper

England "in a great place" under Rob Key although white-ball revolution poses "problems"

Surrey star Laurie Evans believes the future of English cricket is "in a great place" with former Kent captain Rob Key at the helm as Managing Director of England Men's Cricket.

Key was a surprise appointment back in April, with the 43-year-old stepping away from his role as a pundit and commentator with Sky Sports to take on the job. And he has already overseen a raft of changes, appointing two new coaches in Brendon McCullum and Matthew Mott and two new captains in Ben Stokes and Jos Buttler.

England have enjoyed immediate success in Test cricket under McCullum and Stokes, whitewashing World Test Champions New Zealand and producing a record-breaking chase to defeat India in the rescheduled fifth Test. In white-ball cricket, they remain one of the strongest teams in the world but are now entering a new era following Eoin Morgan's retirement from international cricket.

And Evans, who has been on the fringes of England's white-ball side in recent years, believes Key is the right person to help take English cricket forward. "Rob Key is a great man," he told Mirror Sport . "He was a thinking cricketer and I've always enjoyed his company whenever I've played golf with him so with him at the helm now I think England are in a great place."

However, with England now a powerhouse in white-ball cricket and young stars able to make fortunes in lucrative T20 leagues across the world, Evans believes England's white-ball revolution has "thrown up problems" in red-ball cricket which Key will need to address.

"The franchise world is still quite a new environment for a lot of English cricketers, but a lot of guys are now picking up gigs and you're seeing the benefits in the Vitality Blast and the England side," he added.

Laurie Evans agreed a white-ball only deal with Surrey at the start of the year (Ben Hoskins/Getty Images for Surrey CCC)

"I was sat in that bubble in Hampshire before the Ireland series [in 2020] and there were 40-50 guys who quite easily could have played for England, the strength in depth is just extraordinary.

"It's been an exciting time in English white-ball cricket, but it's also thrown up problems for guys in red-ball cricket because the amount of money you can earn is obviously tempting."

Evans is one of several players to have signed white-ball only contracts and he believes it is "the way the game's moving now" and that more players will begin to choose between red and white-ball cricket.

Evans is an ambassador for Step One (Step One Underwear)

"I'm not going to play Test cricket or anything like that, so it gives more opportunity for young Surrey players to move up and play first-team cricket," he said of his decision.

"There was a lot that went into the decision, but it's the way the game's moving now and I think you'll see more people start to specialise. Although, the way England have played their last three Test matches it looks like I might have retired too soon!"

Laurie Evans is an ambassador for Step One, the sustainable and ethical underwear brand, created to offer unbelievable comfort for men and women inclusive for all body shapes and sizes.

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