Published: 12:39, 18 January 2018
Paul Downton has been appointed director of cricket at Kent, the club have announced.
Speculation had been growing in recent days that the 60-year-old former Kent and Middlesex wicketkeeper-batsman would be appointed to the post.
His most recent role was as managing director of the ECB but left the post in 2015.
Downton was born in Farnborough and made his first class debut for Kent in 1977 as understudy to Alan Knott.
Downton told the club website said: “I was lucky enough to play in some talented, successful teams and I hope to help bring some success back to Kent.
“Cricket has been a part of my life for as long as I can remember since I picked up a bat at Sevenoaks Vine and this role allows me to draw on my skills and experience.
“I’ll be responsible for the business of cricket and making us as competitive as we can be on the pitch.
“We will aim to maximise our resources and make good strategic decisions in developing and attracting talent to the club.
“The ambition is to connect with the communities of Kent and build teams that they can be proud of.”
He joined Middlesex in 1980 and made his Test debut a year later, earning 30 Test caps and 28 One Day International appearances.
At Middlesex, he was part of a side that won four County Championships, three NatWest Trophies and two B&H Cups.
He was forced to retire in 1991 following a freak accident when a bail struck him in the eye.
Downton pursued a career as a stockbroker in The City after his retirement from the game and served as managing director of England Cricket.
Chairman Simon Philip said: “Paul was the outstanding candidate from our thorough recruitment process.
“He combines vast cricket experience as a player and administrator with astute business sense from his career in finance.
“Paul played during very successful periods at Kent and Middlesex and we’re confident he will drive the club’s considerable ambitions on the pitch.”
The new role will oversee all cricket activities including our age group squads, academy and first teams with responsibility for recruitment of coaches and players, player contracts, scouting and development.